A former stripper has been charged with the murder 28 years ago of a wealthy Louisiana businessman after new DNA evidence emerged.
Leila Mulla, 47, of Long Island City, New York, has been formally accused of murdering fast food executive Gary Kergan.
Her ex-boyfriend Ronald Dunnagan, 64, of Bossier City, Los Angeles, has also been charged with Mr Kergan’s murder.
Although the pair were charged at the time, a lack of evidence meant a Louisiana district attorney opted not prosecute and the case went cold.
Earlier this year, however, Baton-Rouge police opened a specialist division to re-investigate unsolved murders such as this one.
New DNA techniques have allegedly enabled forensic scientists to link specks of blood found in the boot of Kergan’s pink Cadillac to the original suspects.
Mr Kergan was last seen leaving the Night Spot Lounge on Plank Road in Baton Rouge, Louisiana on November 28, 1984 alongside Mulla. He was wearing over $8,000 worth of jewelry and carrying $2,000 in cash.
Mr Kergan was last seen alive at Mulla’s home and and authorities believe Mulla and Dunnagan, murdered him inside their apartment on Byron Street on the night of his disappearance.
The couple fled the area for Las Vegas, Nevada, after his disappearance.
When authorities searched their apartment, they found evidence of a violent struggle, including bloodstains. Police said entries in Mulla’s diary indicated she was planning to murder Mr Kergan.
Mr Kergan’s car was later found abandoned in Metairie, Louisiana.
Police allege that Mulla and Dunnagan beat Mr Kergan to death, before stealing his car and then getting rid of the body.
Mr Kergan’s brother Ted who he co-owned a chain of Sonic drive-in restaurants in southern Louisiana said he was pleased to hear news of the charges.
Speaking to CATV Ted Kergan said: ‘He was always very much alive for us, the file on all this has been pretty much sitting on my desk all this time.
‘For 28 years we have been waiting to see what would happen next.’
‘My hope is this prosecution goes forward we can can make some sense out of it because we certainly can’t now. Investigators say they are hopeful they may find Gary Kergan’s body.
Dunnagan has been charged with Criminal Conspiracy, Simple Robbery and 1st Degree Murder. Mulla, 47, Astoria, NY, was charged with Criminal Conspiracy, Simple Robbery and 2nd Degree Murder.
Interestingly, Mulla brands herself a ‘full-fledged optimist’ online. Check out the links below: