Nearly a year after murder, police seek assistance from state police on high-profile case
PORT ALLEN - One month after council members unanimously passed a resolution asking for the Port Allen Police Department to seek outside assistance in a murder case from November 2017, Chief Esdron Brown said he has met with them multiple times.
Brown told WBRZ he is very confident an arrest will be made involving the murder of Fatrell Queen. Queen was found shot to death inside his Port Allen home last November. Questions swirled in the city about the investigation and the lack of answers the family said it received from law enforcement.
Outside the home where Queen was killed, blue evidence tape still seals off windows. A bullet hole could be seen through the front door and a sign demanding justice for his murder was displayed in the front yard. Despite the confidence from the chief, residents remain skeptical about the murder ever being solved.
"I don't think they are going to solve it, because I don't think they are doing nothing to solve it," Port Allen resident Robert Williams said.
Brown said new leads breathed life into the case. They are currently waiting for evidence from the State Police Crime Lab.
"I'm very confident, very confident there will be an arrest," Brown said. "As far as a timetable, I don't have that, but I'm confident we will make an arrest on it."
Following pleas from the community and a unanimous council vote, Brown said he took his evidence and brought it to state police.
In fact, a letter obtained by the WBRZ Investigative Unit that was signed by a Port Allen lieutenant lays out a number of bullet points on what LSP told the family.
The letter claims a state trooper told the victim's family and attorney the following:
- "Port Allen Police Department (Detectives) has done an amazing job with working the case."
- "Port Allen Police Department (Detectives) has done things with the case that they wouldn't have thought about doing."
- "The case is indeed a cold case due to no arrest being made within a certain length of time."
- "New leads are being generated."
- "It's not a matter of who done it (committed the crime) but a matter of proving who done it (committed the crime),"
- "Louisiana State Police is ONLY assisting Port Allen Police Department NOT taking over the case."
- "Louisiana State Police can NOT and will NOT release any information pertaining to the case."
The letter was signed by Lieutenant Kendra Wisham. The letter was drafted after a phone call between Queen's family and their attorney to state police.
"They gave us compliments saying we went above and beyond in what we were doing," Brown said. "Eventually we'll wind up getting the suspects."
The public remains skeptical, including Tara Snearl, Queen's mom. She is demanding justice for her murdered son. Snearl has openly questioned the job investigators did after she claims she found evidence including a shell casing Port Allen police left behind.
"They put everything on inexperienced officers," Snearl said. "They apologized for that part, but that's about it."
Wednesday, people in the community said they are hoping that arrest actually comes.
"He was a fine young man who never did nothing to nobody," Williams said. "If you saw him, he'd speak to you and do whatever just to help you. He was a nice young man."
The attorney representing the family said in a written statement there has been a total lack of transparency and accountability from public officials to the public regarding this case.
On Wednesday, State Police told WBRZ they've been asked to assist in the investigation; their detectives have provided resources in investigating and evidence processing.