Crime scene investigators with the Caddo Parish Sheriff's returned to the site Monday morning where a suspected serial killer says he dumped one of his victims more than a decade ago. They say the reason was to expand the area where they plan to search for the remains of Kristi O'Pry who has been missing since 1996.
After his arrest in connection with another murder last week, Eric Mickelson, 38, reportedly confessed to killing O'Pry and showed investigators a location on Jefferson Paige Road where he allegedly dumped her body. Mickelson was the last person seen with O'Pry just before she disappeared.
On Friday, investigators, following that lead, began removing loads of dirt from the area and hauling it to a sheriff's office substation on North Market Street. Detectives spent the weekend, sifiting through the soil but did not find anything, according to Det. Kay Ward.
"We believe something is out here," she said. "We're gonna keep digging until we find something."
On Monday morning, the digging crew expanded to include more than a dozen trustees from the Caddo Correctional Center. The inmates, dressed in yellow jumpsuits, used machetes to hack through the overgrown brush and shovels to turn over soil.
"We're just trying to clear some of the bush out so that our crime scene guys can get in there better," Ward said.
She said the area they will be searching could expand by several yards, if not miles. Mickelson reportedly dumped O'Pry's remains near a stream that runs quite a distance into a wooded area.
"It's a lot of water that has probably run through this culvert here," Ward said. "And it's been 11 years, so the possiblities that something could be on down (stream), you know--it's a good possibility."
Ward said the search will continue as long as it takes for detectives to feel satisfied.
Mickelson's reported confession came last Friday after his arrest in connection with the murder of Charles Martin, 86. Both he and Beverly "Suzi" Arthur face attempt first degree murder charges in that case.
Police say both suspects confessed to killing Martin inside his home on Watts Road in Shreveport last week. They say they strangled him after robbing him.
Over the weekend, both Mickelson and Arthur were transferred from the Shreveport City Jail to the Caddo Correctional Center.
Story by Katrina Webber