Helicopters hovered over St. Roch and heavily armed officers conducted door-to-door searches on the morning of June 20, but somehow, Travis Boys managed to remain at large for more than 24 hours after police say he shot 5th District Officer Daryle Holloway.
Investigators have never determined how Boys was able to elude the massive manhunt or who gave him the new clothes he was wearing when he finally was taken into custody the next day.
But court filings reveal an extensive effort to find and arrest the accomplice or accomplices police believe helped Boys — an effort that thus far has proved fruitless. Police said Friday they have not arrested anyone in connection with the still-open investigation.
In perhaps the most dramatic thread of the case exposed thus far, the records show that heavily armed SWAT team members served a high-risk warrant on an Upper 9th Ward teenager more than a month ago, on the suspicion that he may have harbored Boys.
The documents show a witness told police that Mack Lastrap, 17, had bragged about housing Boys, whom the witness described as Lastrap’s cousin, after his escape.
Lastrap was alleged to have spoken about the specific location of the weapon used to kill Holloway, information that has never been released to the public.
But Lastrap strongly denied any relation to Boys in an interview with The New Orleans Advocate, and he has not been accused of any crime.
Lastrap said he was shocked when as many as 15 SWAT team members shut down the 1800 block of Feliciana Street in late September or early October and began shouting his name.
Both Lastrap and his older brother, Christopher Lastrap, 18, were taken in to be questioned for hours and to have their cheeks swabbed for DNA. Police seized their cellphones as well as his computer hard drive, Mack Lastrap said.
“They had put me in handcuffs, and they read me my rights. And I ain’t even know what I did wrong,” he said. “They had this whole block blocked off, just for me.”
The thin-framed sophomore at Joseph S. Clark Preparatory High School said that while he has several cousins named Travis, he does not believe Boys is one of them.
“I barely saw the dude, besides on the news,” Lastrap said. “By the face, I never saw the guy in my life.”
Police zeroed in on clothes as they searched Lastrap’s house and another one just down the street. Investigators looked for the garments Boys sported when he was first arrested, as well as receipts for the sale of an RCVA jacket, Adidas shoes and a New Era Miami Heat cap — the ensemble he was wearing when he was finally taken into custody after buying a po-boy in the Lower 9th Ward on June 21.
Lastrap said the hat was a dead giveaway that he didn’t help Boys, because he prefers another basketball team.
“The Bulls all day, all long,” he said. “I don’t mess with no LeBron; Jordan all the way.”
Lastrap said he failed a school test because of the three-hour questioning but that he has not seen or heard from authorities since then. Everything in his life has gone back to normal, he said.
“What do I need to be worried for? I’m clean,” he said.
In a separate thread of the investigation, police also have sought cellphone records for NOPD Officer Jeardine Daniels-Sparks and her son, Lazandy Daniels.
Daniels, 38, said he found discarded clothes outside a house in the 2200 block of North Derbigny Street early on the morning of June 24. He claimed he gave the clothes to his mother, veteran officer Daniels-Sparks, who then turned them in at the 5th District station.
At that residence on North Derbigny Street — the same block where police allege Daniels sold a woman cocaine in May, in a separate case — police found a pair of bolt cutters and a chain link similar to that used in handcuffs.
Boys was wearing handcuffs with Holloway’s name and badge number on them when he was arrested, but the chain connecting them had been cut. The records don’t make clear whether police believe the chain link they found at the residence came from Boys’ handcuffs.
Daniels-Sparks reportedly told internal police investigators that she had no contact with her son before he gave her the clothes early on June 24.
Police said in a court filing that they sought to test that claim by pulling all of Daniels-Sparks’ phone records from June 20 through June 25, including call logs, GPS location information and text messages.
NOPD spokesman Tyler Gamble said a Public Integrity Bureau investigation of Daniels-Sparks remains open.
Efforts to reach her and her son Friday were not successful.