AMITE, La. (BRPROUD) — Nearly three months after Amite Police announced they were looking for a missing woman, officers believe they may have found her body, and they have arrested a woman in connection to the disappearance.
Joanna Phelps, 39, of Amite, faces charges of principal to first-degree murder and failure to report the commission of certain felonies. She was booked into the Tangipahoa Parish Jail.
Phelps’ arrest comes after detectives received a tip in connection with the disappearance of Angela Stearns, 59, of Amite. Police say detectives received a tip in June that human remains could possibly be found under a home in the 300 block of S. Third St. in Amite.
“Once detectives made entry into the unoccupied residence, they observed the floor had been replaced recently,” according to the Amite Police Department.
Digging into the ground, remains were indeed found, said officers, though the Tangipahoa Parish Coroner’s Office is working to confirm the identity.
Stearns has been missing for more than a year, though Amite Police first notified the press of her disappearance in April of this year. The Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s Department and Louisiana Search and Rescue assisted the Amite City Police Department on this case. The investigation remains ongoing.