Coroner identifies remains found near Washington Parish, investigation ongoing

Published 9:44 am Friday, February 10, 2023

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

St. Tammany Parish Coroner Dr. Charles Preston yesterday identified the person whose remains were found near the Washington-St. Tammany Parish line last month.

On Jan. 18, skeletal remains were discovered in a field and the Washington Parish Sheriff’s Office launched an investigation. On Jan. 20, Preston’s office was asked to join the investigation, and acquired DNA from the remains on Jan. 24. On Feb. 6, the DNA analysis was completed and loaded into the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS), a national database of genetic records. The following day, CODIS reported a preliminary match, which was confirmed yesterday morning.

The decedent has been positively identified as Daryl D. Jenkins, who was 38 when he was last seen in July 2022. Jenkins was reported as a missing person to the Picayune, Mississippi, Police Department in September. Picayune Police have notified his next of kin.

The cause and manner of death remain under investigation by the Coroner and the Washington Parish Sheriff’s Office.

“I’m extremely grateful for the cooperation and assistance of the St. Tammany Parish Coroner in bringing us closer to resolution on this case,” said Washington Parish Sheriff Randy Seal. “We often rely on our justice system partners in other parishes, and we appreciate this quick work.”

“Tragedy and crime don’t recognize geo-political boundaries,” Preston said. “Ours is the only Coroner’s Office in the state with its own DNA lab, and we’re fortunate to have the ability to provide quick turnaround for local law enforcement agencies. Hopefully, providing the identification of Mr. Jenkins will bring Sheriff Seal and the Picayune Police closer to solving this mystery and giving closure to the decedent’s family.”