Human remains found in a rural area of Evangeline Parish, Louisiana in 2018 have been identified as belonging to Erica Nicole Hunt, an Opelousas woman reported missing in 2016, the Louisiana State Police Department announced last week.
The skeletal remains were found during a search for a missing child at the time, but not identified until two years later through the efforts of the Louisiana State Police Crime Lab, the LSU Forensic Anthropology and Computer Enhancement Services (FACES) Laboratory and the DNA Doe Project, Louisiana State Police Troop I spokesman Thomas Gossen stated in the release.
On February 5, 2021, State Police investigators announced they were able to positively confirm a forensic match to Erica Hunt.
The Louisiana State Police are investigating Erica’s death as a homicide with assistance from the Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Office and the Opelousas Police Department.
The 20-year-old mother of then 2-year-old Breionna vanished the weekend of July 4, 2016. A Fourth of July gathering with her family in Opelousas on July 3 was the last time she was seen by her family.
Erica’s mother and sister spoke to Dateline in the summer of 2020.
“It was just a good day for our family,” Erica’s sister, Shantashia Isaac, told Dateline. “Everyone was just hanging out and having a good time.”
Shantashia said Erica seemed to be enjoying herself as she gushed about plans for her upcoming 21st birthday and was working toward moving into a new house.
Erica’s mother, Shannon Isaac, told Dateline she remembers her daughter talking about her plans to go to Lake Charles the next day with a friend who also had a child. But those plans never happened.
In 2020, Chief McClelland told Dateline there were no suspects in Erica’s disappearance. But following the discovery and identification of her remains, Erica’s death is being investigated as a homicide and the public is asked to call authorities with any information that may be of assistance in the case.
In a statement shared on the Facebook page “Bring Erica Hunt Home,” the family said, “To those of you, who has liked and shared. Today we received word that the remains of Erica Nicole Hunt has been found. Thank you all for the concern, shares and prayers.”