Teen gone for year; investigators say leads dead ends
LAFAYETTE — Keiosha Felix’s family members pleaded Wednesday for anyone with information on the location of the 16-year-old Duson girl missing for almost a year to step forward and contact police in a missing person’s case that has turned up very little.
The family’s plea at a news conference extended to Keiosha herself.
“We all love her. I miss her because I love her a lot,” said Keiosha’s grandfather, Joseph Earl Narcisse.
Narcisse joined other family members and representatives of Acadiana law enforcement agencies, including the Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office, FBI, Duson police and State Police in a news conference updating the investigation into Keiosha’s disappearance on April 30.
Sheriff’s spokesman Capt. Kip Judice said the FBI is offering a reward of $5,000 for information that brings Keiosha home.
Judice said various law enforcement agencies have logged at least 2,300 total investigative hours pursuing leads in the disappearance of Keiosha, who turned 16 on Monday.
“We’re not ruling out any possibilities,” Judice said. “She potentially ran away, other things are also possible. We have not … narrowed our investigation in any way.”
An unwed mother at 14, Keiosha was in state custody when she was last seen by relatives leaving an aunt’s home in the Duson area, police said last year.
The aunt, Patricia Andrus, was one of four people close to Keiosha’s case arrested last year. Others arrested include Andrus’ boyfriend, Leon Wilkerson,. He was accused of raping Keiosha and arrested on one count of rape and one count of second-degree kidnapping.
Judice said Wednesday that all four arrested last year were never formally charged and have been released from jail.
Despite 17 tips, 72 interviews, 20 subpoenas and four search warrants in an investigation spanning Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas, Texas, Florida, Minnesota, Maryland, Oregon and California, Keiosha has not been found, Judice said.
Judice also said investigators have found no evidence to suggest Keiosha was hurt or killed by someone, though “we continue to look at all possibilities.”
Other family members have sought the public’s help in locating her. And they took a chance that speaking directly to Keiosha through television news, newspapers, news websites, or a social media site that would amplify their plea.
“We love you. We’re waiting on you. We’ve been waiting on you,” said Keiosha’s aunt, Lena Lewis. “If you’re somewhere out there and hearing this, we really miss you.”
Judice said investigators are still following one lead, which involves a man at an AT&T outlet store on Louisiana Avenue in Lafayette. He said the man, who so far is unidentified, in some way used or knew the password to Keiosha’s smartphone.
“He is not a suspect in any criminal matter but may have some helpful information related to this case,” Judice said.
Anyone with information on Keiosha should contact the Lafayette Sheriff’s Office at 337-232-9211.