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A Legacy of Pain - Whitnei's murder
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Monday, 28 September 2009 11:32
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Whitnei's murder

"I never expected Whitnei to become one of those girls," Brittney cried when she started discussing her sister's murder. "I had just given her a ride a week before she was found. I was excited for her because she and her new boyfriend were moving to a new home. She had gained some weight, and they were both trying to stay clean. They wanted to make a life for themselves. She wanted her daughter back. She was expecting her ‘happily ever after.'"

But when Brittney learned that another body had been dumped down an isolated road in Jeff Davis Parish, she had a gut feeling. A friend telephoned her to say that the description given on the news matched a description of Whitnei. Brittney immediately began calling friends and family members to find out who had seen her last.

"I was on the phone with Maw-Maw when she said, ‘I have to go. The police are here.' That's when I knew for sure," Brittney said. "I drove to her house and saw the coroner's truck. I walked inside and my grandma was crying. That's when I hit the floor."

After police questioned Brittney, she called her sister, Taylor, who still hadn't heard the news.

"That was horrible," Brittney said of their conversation over the phone. "She didn't believe it until she got to Jennings. Then, she broke down when we got to the police station. She had a panic attack."

While it was difficult to share such horrible news with Taylor, Brittney's toughest audience would ultimately be Whitnei's 5-year-old daughter.

"The next morning was Mother's Day," Brittney broke down in tears. "(She) had made her mommy a card at school and was looking for her mom because she wanted to give it to her. (She) sat on my lap and all I could tell her was that her mother went to Heaven to meet Jesus. She was smiling at first, but when I told her about her mom, her face changed. She understood what death was, and she started crying. All I could tell her was that Jesus needed her momma. I told her that ‘Nanny' would be there for her now, no matter what."

Ten minutes later, the 5-year-old girl wiped away her tears and ran to the vehicle to grab her homemade Mother's Day card.

"She brought it to me and said, ‘Nanny, I want you to have this,'" Brittney continued as she began to sob. "I told her to keep it, and she could bring it to the funeral home. (She) read the card in front of everyone at the funeral and then put it on top of the casket. It was so hard to explain to her why the casket had to be closed. She kept asking me, ‘Why can't I see my momma?'"

Looking for closure

Whitnei Dubois was number four of eight in the string of unsolved homicides in Jeff Davis Parish. Police are still searching for a potential serial killer who keeps dumping the bodies of young women who live a certain "high-risk" lifestyle. Four more have been murdered since Whitnei's body was found on May 12, 2007.

Every time another body is found, the Dubois family is forced to relive the experience. All they are asking for now is closure.

"If someone knows something, please do some soul-searching," Brittney said. "Look into the eyes of these girls and the eyes of their children. See the pain that this has caused. Know that we can't move on until this stops. Every time another girl is found, we all go through this all over again."

Brittney also has a message for the general public, who only knows Whitnei as "victim number four," as well as the victim of a "high-risk" lifestyle: "Some of these girls had issues," she said. "Please take that into account and see them as people – as individuals – and not as drug addicts and prostitutes. Whitnei had a family who loved her. She has a daughter who will live the rest of her life without her mother. We are all hurting without her."

Whitnei Dubois enjoyed listening to music; absolutely adored her daughter; was tough on the outside despite her vulnerabilities from within; had a beautiful smile; and left a lasting impression on all those who knew and loved her. That's the Whitnei that her family remembers.

"I miss my sister," Brittney cried. "I know how hard she had it. I've heard the stories. It breaks my heart that she had to live like that her entire life, and then, she had to die the same way."



 

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