Volunteers want to bring major attention to the slayings of Ashley Metz and Brouklynn Hill, and they plan to meet Monday to plot publicity efforts they hope will help solve the case.
Metz, 23, and Hill, 22, both from Lafayette, were the victims found inside separate burning cars this week in rural Lafayette Parish, according to the Sheriff’s Office, which released their identities late Thursday, two days after their bodies were discovered.
Along with a memorial planned Saturday at Gethsemane Church, a private meeting set for Monday will focus on how to bring attention to the homicide investigation.
Marja Broussard, a community organizer who also leads the city’s NAACP branch, floated the idea in a Facebook post midday Friday that recalls the Mickey Shunick investigation.
The Lafayette 21-year-old’s disappearance as she rode her bike one night in summer 2012 led to months of intense searching that included the hundreds of people who, spearheaded by Shunick’s family and friends, volunteered in a massive campaign to find her.
No one in Lafayette Parish that summer could ignore Shunick’s disappearance. Her name and face were plastered on fliers locally, statewide and across state lines, and her case garnered national media attention before her killer became linked to the case and led police to her body.
“I know firsthand that her family and her community organized, and they came together and they did what they needed to do. And if anything, we need to take their lead,” Broussard said when reached by phone Friday afternoon.
Broussard’s Facebook post received an enthusiastic response, and within hours, a property owner lent a conference room for the meeting and a Facebook page spawned, asking the question: “Who Killed Ashley Nichole Metz and Brouklynn Walter Hill?”
Detectives have not said whether there are any leads in the case.
Carencro firefighters found the first body about 1:15 a.m. Tuesday when they responded to a vehicle fire near the 100 block of Disett Road, a gravel road off North University Avenue about a mile from the Evangeline Thruway north of Carencro.
About 12 miles away and two hours later, Scott firefighters responded to a second burning car with a body inside near the 400 block of Old Spanish Trail, about a half-mile south of Cameron Street and west of Scott.
Tina Shelvin Bingham, who leads the McComb-Veazey Coterie, a neighborhood revitalization group, on Friday said she is working to help spread the word about the case and encourage people to attend the Monday meeting.
Bingham said she knew Metz through mutual friends and through her work as a model.
“She was loved in the community. That’s not a question,” Bingham said.
The Monday meeting will be closed to the media and law enforcement while the organizers figure out how to move forward, Broussard said.
“We want to be respectful to the families who are going through the pain of this,” Broussard said.
Metz’s and Hill’s killings mark an already violent month in Lafayette Parish, with three people shot dead and four injured in separate incidents in Lafayette.
Two of those people were shot in two incidents the night after the bodies of Metz and Hill were discovered.
Authorities have not said whether the violence is related.
Follow Lanie Lee Cook on Twitter, @lanieleecook, or contact her by phone at (337) 534-0825.