The supposed boyfriend of 19-year-old Jasilas Wright, who was found dead on Interstate 10 in Metairie on Wednesday morning, surrendered Saturday afternoon after State Police and the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office obtained warrants for his arrest on kidnapping and murder counts.
Adam Littleton, 23, surrendered in Shreveport, said Col. John Fortunato, spokesman for the JPSO. He said Littleton would be booked there as a fugitive from New Orleans and Jefferson Parish.
Wright’s co-workers and friends last saw her alive early Wednesday leaving Stiletto’s Cabaret on Bourbon Street, where she danced for tips. A man Wright described as her boyfriend from Texas was leaving with her, though her friends and co-workers said they suspected he was a pimp who would help arrange dates for her as an escort.
Authorities identified that man as Littleton, whom Wright had met in Dallas, Fortunato said.
Shortly before Wright died, Fortunato said, she and Littleton were arguing as they drove west on I-10, toward Metairie. According to Fortunato, State Police determined that Littleton intended to drive Wright to Dallas. Wright wanted to get out of Littleton’s vehicle, but he wouldn’t stop, authorities said.
Littleton later told friends and relatives of his and Wright’s that she eventually opened the car door and jumped out onto the roadway, Fortunato said.
“Littleton did not stop to offer any assistance to Wright” and continued driving, Fortunato said.
The mother of a 10-month-old boy, Wright died from blunt-force injuries, authorities said. Her body was found in multiple pieces about 5 a.m. Wednesday.
A few photos of Wright appeared recently on some escort ads, including one posted for the Dallas area as recently as last month.
A now-deleted social media profile believed to have been controlled by Littleton contained the phrase, “Eazy Pimpin.” Another phrase was “Pimp till I die so ‘Laissez les bon temps rouler,’ ” invoking the French phrase for “let the good times roll,” a popular saying in New Orleans.
On Friday morning, a friend of Wright’s family told The New Orleans Advocate that the family was immediately suspicious of the circumstances surrounding her death. Wright’s relatives never believed she died as a result of a mere accident, Candince McMillian said.
McMillian also said it was “out of character” for Wright to affiliate herself with a suspected pimp.
“That ... (was) possibly related to some new company she was keeping, a new crowd she was associating herself with,” McMillian said.
Littleton — nicknamed “Sip” — will be booked on counts of second-degree kidnapping and second-degree murder, authorities said. Second-degree kidnapping convictions can carry between five and 40 years in prison. Second-degree murder convictions carry mandatory life imprisonment.
Wright’s grandmother, Carol Bernard, suggested she knew who was responsible for her granddaughter’s death when she spoke at a vigil Thursday evening.
“Turn yourself in,” Bernard said in a message that was apparently directed toward Littleton. “You may think that we don’t know. But God knows.”
Wright’s death came less than a week after the body of 16-year-old Kaylan Ward was found on I-10 in eastern New Orleans. Ward also died of blunt-force injuries, and her body also was found in pieces, police said.
The twin discoveries were uncannily similar, but New Orleans Police Superintendent Michael Harrison cautioned Thursday that there was “no evidence” linking the cases. The families of both young women said they did not believe the deaths were connected.
Staff writer Matt Sledge contributed to this report.