OPELOUSAS, La. (KLFY) — An Opelousas family who lost their loved one almost five years ago is pleading for justice. They hope to reignite the cold case of Erica Hunt with a candlelight vigil.
The family of Erica Nicole Hunt is just now receiving her remains almost five years after she went missing and two years after her remains were discovered.
“We prayed and we asked God to please bring her home. Now her remains are home. We can give her a proper burial, but now we still need justice for Erica,” exclaimed Miranda Isaac, Erica’s Aunt to a crowd of about 100 people all in attendance for one purpose Friday night.
Isaac said Erica Hunt was the type of person who got along with everyone. Taking phones to leave smiling pictures and lifting the moods of old and young alike. It was like that the last time her whole family came together, July 3, 2016. The day before she went missing.
“A missing person. We hear about it in every other city, every other town, but when it hits home, you don’t know where to go,” Isaac stated.
Opelousas Police picked up the case and discovered Erica Hunt was last spotted on Hersh Alley. Then the case went cold for two years until remains were found near Ville Platte in December 2018.
Those remains were sent to LSU Faces and the state crime lab, and they were just identified in February as Erica Hunt. This vigil was the first time her family could mourn knowing her remains will be coming home.
Her uncle, Tyrone Glover remembered, “It was troubling. A lot of people wanted us to give up. A lot. They just thought she went on a joy ride and wasn’t going to come back. Those rumors were just put aside whenever I spoke to Miranda. We just kept hope alive, and Thank God. Thank God they found the remains. Now we can properly put her to rest the right way. The family can have some closure, but it isn’t over. It isn’t over because somebody did it.”
Authorities say the investigation relies on tips from the public and gave reassurance that just as the family won’t give up on justice for Erica, neither will they.
“We are not a liberty to discuss this case, so I will not go any further, but I am telling you something is going to happen,” Opelousas Police Chief Martin McLendon stated. “Her living in vain, and somebody is going to answer for what happened to her.”
Erica Hunt’s death is being investigated as a homicide by State Police.
State Trooper First Class Thomas Gossen told News 10, “We’re still asking the public for information. Anything and the thing is it could be a very small piece that you think is very insignificant that investigators may say, ‘That’s the piece we’re missing.”
If you have any information about Erica Hunt’s disappearance or death, call Crimestoppers.