DECEMBER 17, 1999 • HOUSTON VOICE
Police looking for jewelry in New Orleans murder case
by MELINDA SHELTON
NEW ORLEANS—Almost a month after
friends discovered the body of LSU professor David Sexton in his comfortable Bayou
St. John home, police still have no solid
leads in the puzzling case.'
Sexton, 51, was found Nov. 22 just inside
his front door, stabbed at least 16 times by a
perpetrator police believe may have been
injured in a struggle with Sexton.
There were no signs of forced entry into
Sexton's Hagan Avenue home, but police
now say they believe several pieces of jewelry are missing from Sexton's home. Also
missing are Sexton's wallet and keys,
although his car was found in his driveway.
Police released a photograph of bracelets
similar to that Sexton and a friend, Steve
Loria, bought on a trip to Greece in
September. The photograph shows several
bracelets with distinctive Greek designs in
Police also released the drawing of an
ornate cross that is missing from Sexton's
home. The cross hung on a rope chain and
may have a circular design similar to a
crown of thorns, although friends could not
say for sure, said New Orleans Police
Department Det. Tim Allen.
"We've had no new developments in the
case," Allen said, "We're hoping someone
will see this jewelry and maybe remember
seeing someone wearing something similar.
or trying to sell it. And maybe a pawn shop
owner will recognize it and remember who
tried to sell it or did sell it."
The grisly murder of Sexton, a distinguished scholar and researcher in early
childhood development at the LSU Health
Sciences Center, has left police, family and
Following an autopsy, Orleans Parish
Coroner Dr. Frank Minyard determined that
Sexton died sometime after 1:30 a.m. on
Nov. 20. He said Sexton suffered long, deep
gashes to his arms, suggesting that he
attempted to fend off his attacker.
Minyard also said he believes Sexton was
killed "by someone who knew Sexton and
who he let in his house [or] possibly
returned with to his home. This was not a
Loria and another friend, Randy Scott,
were the last known people to have seen
Sexton before the murder. The trio went to
dinner and a play on Friday, Nov. 19, and
ended the evening with cocktails at the
Friendly Bar, a small, neighborhood establishment in the Marigny.
Afterwards, Sexton dropped the two off
at their homes near his at about 1 a.m., and
Loria said he assumed Sexton was turning
in for the night.
When Sexton failed to appear at a meeting that Monday morning, Nov. 22, a colleague first repeatedly called and then went
to Sexton's home. When she found three
days of newspapers on the porch, saw his
car in the driveway, but still got no answer
at the door, she called Loria.
Loria and Scott retrieved a set of extra
house keys, unlocked a security gate, and
found bloodied footprints on the porch.
When they unlocked the front door, they
found .Sexton's body on the other side in a
pool of blood.
Loria described his friend of a dozen
years as tall, 6-3, and physically fit. "He
must have put up quite a struggle," he told
Police fanned out across the Marigny
and into the French Quarter, targeting
gay bars Sexton occasionally frequented.
Allen said that thus far no one remembers
seeing Sexton after he dropped off Loria
Authorities initially released limited
information about the perpetrator, saying
it was possible he was injured.
"We think he may have been injured in
the course of the struggle," Allen said. He
said the person could have had cuts or
scratches to the face, head, neck and arms,
and may have gone "underground" for a
few days after the attack or may have been
seen wearing bandages.
By releasing new information about the
bracelets and cross, Allen said police hope
to develop leads to a suspect.
Sexton was a researcher and professor in
the School of Allied Health Professions at
New Orleans police released a drawing of
an ornate cross that is missing from
David Sexton's home. The cross hung on
a rope chain and may have a circular design
similar to a crown of thorns. Sexton was
murdered Nov. 22.
LSU Health Sciences Center in New Orleans.
He was co-director of the Early Intervention
Institute at the center's Human Development
Center, and once served as head of the UNO
special education department, friends said.
He was nationally recognized as an expert
in early childhood development and was
president of the Council for Exceptional
Children's Division of Early Childhood.
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