Hunter who discovered body of Carol Ann Cole is 'person of interest'

Hunter who discovered body of Carol Ann Cole is 'person of interest'

BOSSIER PARISH, LA (KSLA) - The cold case murder of a young girl dating back 35 years has captivated the ArkLaTex. The young girl, formerly known as "Bossier Doe" was found stabbed to death near a road in Princeton, Louisiana in the early 80s.

With no identity and very little to go on, detectives reopened the case in December 2014. Within a few weeks, her identity was known.

The murder victim we now know as Carol Ann Cole, from Kalamazoo, Michigan.

Carol Ann was identified after her picture was posted on social media and that picture jogged the memories for people in several states. It also jogged the memory of a south Louisiana woman who claims she knows what happened to Carol Ann.

"I saw it on Facebook. It was like a nightmare. I was just going backwards, I could hear her talking, I could feel her touch on my hand," said Frances Chesson Alcoin, the daughter of the man who reportedly found Carol Ann Cole near a desolate road in Princeton Louisiana back in 1981. 

Now Alcoin is now speaking out, unlocking secrets and painful memories in hopes she can help solve the decades-old cold case.

"I feel more sorry and remorseful for the family than I do for myself, and him," said Alcoin. 

She says even thinking of those memories makes her sick and after decades of silence, she says she believes it was her father.

She reportedly shared that bold statement with Bossier Parish investigators.

Alcoin's father, John Chesson, is serving a life sentence for a separate stabbing murder.

He has never been named a suspect in Carol Ann's death, but has been interviewed multiple times by detectives.

"He's definitely a person of interest. I can't at this point scoot him over into the 'he's suspect number 1,' because we do have other avenues to go down. But he's definitely not dropping off the list anytime soon," said Bossier Parish investigator Lt. Shannon Mack. 

Originally investigators looked into serial killer Henry Lee Lucas. In fact, he was even indicted. But Lucas later recanted a confession, and records showed he could not have been in the area when Cole was killed.

However, some people remain convinced of his guilt.

But if that's true, Lucas took it to the grave with him when he died of a heart attack in 2001.

Reflecting on her own past, Alcoin thinks otherwise about Carol Ann Cole's killer. She says it all makes sense to her now. 

"He used to hold knives to my throat, puncture me with them, beat me, throw me in the closets, feed me off the floor, throw me naked outside," said Alcoin.

Like Carol Ann, Alcoin says she would eventually run away from home.

"I promised myself a long time ago that when I ran away, my life was going to be different," said Alcoin. 

But her past came back in February. That's when news broke that the murder victim once only known as "Bossier Doe" was identified as Carol Ann Cole. The Bossier Sheriff's Office held a news conference announcing the revelation and it provided some closure for Carol Ann's family. 

"Now I hope they find who did this," said Cole's tearful younger sister Jeanie Phelps while standing at the podium. 

Alcoin says the news eventually gave her the answer which she didn't have the first time Bossier detectives interviewed her. 

"I didn't have the answers when they came to me. They had a reconstruction composite of her and to me it wasn't ringing any bells," said Alcoin. 

But after seeing Carol Ann's actual picture, those bells started ringing and haunting. 

"I've been not sleeping, confused. Lying in bed at night trying to figure it out," said Alcoin. 

She has now told investigators she remembers vividly, the day they picked up a young soft spoken hitch hiker in Shreveport after they had just made a trip to a metal scrap yard.

"We picked her up. She got in the truck, I moved to the middle, she got in the truck with us," said Alcoin. 

"She's pretty much told us the same thing. She's not super certain of course what day this happened, it was a long time ago," said Lt. Mack. 

In fact, it was so long ago Bossier investigators have not been able to find any of the families Cole was thought to have babysat for in the 1200 block of Fairfield.

To date, nothing puts John Chesson on that street but his daughter's memory of that trip to a scrap yard which could put him very close, like a scrap yard on McNeil Avenue, just a blocks from Fairfield.

"We do know that the father was using the scrap yard on McNeil Street. Downtown it was you know a common place for him to be, it's still in existence and working today," said Lt. Mack.

But Bossier investigators have not been able to locate the employees who worked there back then.

Alcoin says not only did they pick Cole up, she also lived with them and even shared a bed with her until one day.

"And she was gone, all I heard was that relatives came and got her," said Alcoin. 

Alcoin says several weeks later her dad took her and her brother on a random hunting trip.

"I never did this, they never took me hunting," said Alcoin. 

To her, the trip seemed strange and even staged.

"He walked on the road. He stayed on the road. Not too far in front of the truck and I kept looking back and it seemed odd to me that he would stay right there and not go anywhere and just watching us as we walked through the woods," said Alcoin. 

She says she remembers the terrifying moment when she came across the badly decomposed body and the subsequent visits from investigators.

"But when they would come around, he would make me stay in my room and I was not allowed to speak with anyone about this," said Alcoin. 

Now, John Chesson is locked up and serving a life sentence in a North Louisiana prison for violently stabbing an elderly woman to death in the late 90s.

"He can't tell me to shut up anymore. I'm sorry but he can't keep me quiet anymore," said Alcoin. 

We've reached out to prison officials at Wade Correctional Center to ask Chesson what he thinks of the accusations from his daughter and about his recent visits from investigators but the warden denied our request.

So the question remains:  Who killed Carol Ann Cole 35 years ago?

"She's the only one who knows those answers and unfortunately she can't tell us," said Lt. Mack. 

But Cole's sister, Jeanie Phelps has spent the last several weeks working to provide the burial and memorial she never had.

Cole's memorial and funeral are set for Thursday, June 18 in her hometown of Kalamazoo, Michigan.

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