But technology has progressed quite a bit since 1984.
Kergan, who along with his brother owned a chain of Sonic restaurants, was last seen leaving a club in Baton Rouge called the Night Spot Lounge on November 29, 1984. He was accompanied by a teenage exotic dancer named Leila Mulla when he left the Plank Rd. club. He also was carrying approximately $2,000 with him at the time.
Authorities arrested Mulla and her then-boyfriend, Ronald Dunnagan, after they had immediately left town for Las Vegas after the crime and charged them both with Kergan’s murder.
However, this was long before the advent of CSI-type crime solving.
Even though a diary entry by Mulla stated she and Dunnagan had planned to rob Kergan and Kergan’s car was found in Metarie with a pool of blood in the trunk, authorities at the time lacked the technology to determine whose blood it was, and without a body to prove that a murder had been committed, the District Attorney at the time, Bryan Bush, refused to prosecute the case. The pair was released in March of 1985.
However, thanks to DNA testing methods that have been developed since the crime was committed both Mulla and Dunnagan were rearrested on Monday. Dunnagan was located in Bossier City. Mulla in Astoria, New York.
The two have long since split and, according to Baton Rouge Police Chief Dewayne White, one of the two suspects has been cooperating with authorities, though he declined to state which one.
It was also verified that the person who gave blood to police to determine whether the blood in Kergan’s car trunk was indeed Kergan’s was his brother, Ted.
“I’m very happy that the two people involved in my brother’s murder are going to face justice,” said Ted Kergan. “And I’m very sad that these two scums of society ever decided to take his life.”
According to reports, the case took a turn for the better when White appointed Cpl. John Dauthier as the new lead investigator of the Cold Case Division. Dauthier immediately looked into the cases that he felt they had enough evidence to solve. The disappearance of Kergan was near the top of the list.
At the time of his disappearance, Kergan had a wife and an 11-year-old son in Crowley.
“I knew him very well, he was a very nice guy,” said former Acadia Parish Sheriff Ken Goss. “His brother had contacted me a while back about continuing the investigation...murder cases, they just don’t go away. Law enforcement will not forget a murder case and neither did his brother.”
“We’re extremely pleased,” added present Acadia Parish Sheriff Wayne Melancon. “The Kergan brothers were a big part of the Crowley and Acadia Parish business community. It just goes to show you how tenacious law enforcement can be when it comes to solving a murder...no matter how long it takes. And I know his brother Ted must be thrilled.”