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July 25, 2023

Arrest Made in Connection with Body Located in Slidell-area Last Month

The St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office has obtained a second-degree murder warrant for the arrest of 59 year-old Vernon Kenneth Lee in connection with the death of Billie Ann Blakley, whose remains were found June 26, 2023.  St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s detectives located the remains in a wooded area near the intersection of Tyler Drive and Kisatchie Drive near Slidell, after receiving information that she was last seen in that vicinity. The remains were turned over to the St. Tammany Parish Coroner’s Office, who made a positive identification. 

During the course of the investigation into Blakley’s death, detectives with the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Major Crimes Unit traveled out of state to North Carolina and Alabama on two occasions and spent countless hours in the New Orleans area seeking information related to the case. After gathering the information, it was determined that Lee was responsible for the death.

Lee, whose legal address is out of North Carolina, is a transient known to stay with Blakley in the Slidell area and is currently incarcerated in the St. Tammany Parish Correctional Center on unrelated domestic violence charges.

“I applaud and thank the detectives who worked long hours, traveled to different states and interviewed numerous people to get the necessary evidence needed to make an arrest in this case and in the process bringing closure to Ms. Blakley’s family,” Sheriff Randy Smith said.

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