NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) – The former head of the New Orleans Police Department’s homicide division says he is stepping up to help the family of a Lakeview woman whose death remains unsolved.

Eddie Rantz, who is a private practice lawyer, is offering his assistance pro bono to the family of Jessica Easterly and has begun gathering information about her mysterious death.

“It means a lot. It means someone cares. I don’t know what else to do,” said Easterly’s sister, Audrey Schmitt. “I have hope, and I haven’t had hope in a long time.”

Rantz investigated hundreds of homicide cases in the 80s and 90s and has requested police and autopsy reports to try and determine Easterly’s cause of death.

Friends and family of Jessica Easterly continue to demand answers, years after her body was...
Friends and family of Jessica Easterly continue to demand answers, years after her body was found blocks from her Lakeview home.(Family)

Read more: jessica-easterlys-family-continues-fighting-answers/”>Four years after her death, Jessica Easterly’s family continues fighting for answers

Easterly’s body was found on Aug. 22, 2019, nine days after she was reported missing, badly deteriorated in tall weeds near her home in Lakeview. The parish coroner ruled her death “undetermined.” The autopsy showed that Easterly had a broken nose, rib, and vertebra, and a cracked jaw. She had a variety of illicit substances in her bloodstream.

Easterly’s loved ones are hopeful that the case will move forward after failing to gain closure over the last four years.

“It’s been hard. The coroner saying they can’t do anything and then law enforcement saying they can’t do anything,” said Schmitt.

Orleans Parish District Attorney Jason Williams established a cold case unit in 2021 but so far has not announced any findings in Easterly’s death investigation.

If you know anything that can help detectives, you’re asked to call Crimestoppers.

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