How an Unsolved Mysteries 'Inquiry' Led to a Cold Case Arrest in La. Couple's 2010 Killings
Dernell Nelson, 35, has been arrested on two counts of first-degree murder
Police in Louisiana have arrested a suspect in the 2010 slayings of a couple after they received an inquiry from the Netflix TV series Unsolved Mysteries.
Kenner Police say the suspect, 35-year-old Dernell Nelson, may also be connected to the fatal shooting of a couple who died approximately three weeks after the first couple's killings.
The first killings occurred on June 17, 2010. Police were called to a neighborhood in Kenner after reports of gunfire. At the scene, officers found a vehicle that had crashed into a tree in the front yard of a home. Hermania Ellsworth, 29, and her 38-year-old former boyfriend Charles Davis, were in the vehicle and had been fatally shot.
Their 3-year-old son was in the backseat. The boy wasn't shot but had injuries due to the crash. He was taken to the hospital and released two days later, the Times-Picayune reports.
Approximately three weeks later, on July 9, the bodies of Herbert Glass and Lynette Williams were found in Lake Pontchartrain. The couple was shot and bound with duct tape. Their Toyota Camry had been found torched at an interstate exit the day before.
Glass and Williams lived at the home where the earlier car crash occurred, relatives told the Times-Picayune.
Kenner police said in their release that they worked with homicide detectives in the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff's Office, the jurisdiction that handled the second pair of murders, because "both law enforcement agencies believed the two homicide investigations may be related due to the St. Tammany victims residing in close proximity to where the Kenner Homicide occurred and occurred only three weeks apart from each."
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Nelson was a suspect in the killings, but for 11 years, no arrests were made.
Then, Kenner police said they reopened the investigation into the Ellsworth and Davis murders in March of 2021, after "receiving an inquiry" from Unsolved Mysteries.
The case was assigned to a cold case detective who "began reviewing investigative reports, lab results, phone records and witness statements," the press release states.
Nelson was allegedly linked to the murders of Ellsworth and Davis by DNA and circumstantial evidence.
Nelson was arrested on April 22 on two counts of first-degree murder. He has yet to be formally charged, and he has not been charged in connection with the killings of Glass and Williams.
Police said additional arrests in the Ellsworth and Davis case are expected.
Anyone having any information about the murders are asked to contact the Kenner Police at (504) 712-2222 or Crimestoppers at (504) 822-1111.
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