Lafayette

Dec 4, 2012 11:44 PM by Maddie Garrett

Acadiana Family Waits 28 Years for Break in Cold Case, 2 Arrests Made

It's been 28 years of waiting for an Acadiana family, waiting for answers in the 1984 murder of Gary Kergan. Gary disappeared on November 29, 1984, and while a body was never found, Baton Rouge Police believe he was murdered. Two people were arrested just weeks later, but they were never charged with the murder becase prosecutors said there was a lack of evidence in the the case.

Fast forward almost three decades, and murder suspects Ronald Dunnagan and Leila Mulla are back in jail, charged with Gary's murder. The cold case was cracked, thanks in part to DNA technology, and now Gary's family may finally see justice served.

Gary's brother, Ted Kergan, said he never stopped looking for answers after his brother went missing so long ago.

"It was always very much alive for us. The file for all this has pretty much been sitting on my desk this whole time, and I look at it every day and I kind of thumb through it every day," said Ted.

Police believe Dunnagan and Mulla beat Gary to death, stole his car and got rid of the body in 1984. Investigators found a significant amount of blood in Gary's abandoned car in Metarie, but couldn't match it him. And with no body, prosecutors didn't go forward with the case.

"Back in '84 the police didn't even have my brother's blood type, so it was hard to tie some of the evidence together," explained Ted.

So when Baton Rouge police opened up a cold case division, Ted saw the wheels starting to turn. DNA technology that wasn't around in 1984, was the missing link.

Ted's reaction when he finally got the call, "And he said an arrest is imminent and that was really shocking to me... We'd just gotten so used to waiting."

For now the wait is over, Dunnagan was picked up by police in Bosier City; Mulla was arrested in New York. As the case goes to trial, Ted hopes his brother gets justice, but closure may never come.

"No it never fills the void. I hope that as this prosecution goes forward, that we can make some sense out of it, because we certainly don't now," said Ted.

As this case goes to trial, investigators are "cautiously optimistic" that they might also finally find Gary's body. Something that has yet to happen.

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