The fight for justice continues
Life is in limbo for Laura Badeaux, the mother of Theresa Foskey, as she struggles to get through each day with the pain of losing her daughter in one of Orange County’s most brutal murders.
For Badeaux, the murder of her daughter, Theresa Foskey, 28, is just as real and filled with raw emotion as if it happened yesterday.
In September 1995, Badeaux was at her beauty salon when she told a neighbor of Foskey’s to give her daughter a message to call her later. It was the neighbor, however, who called back — telling Badeaux something was terribly wrong since there were several police cars at the Bayou Shadows trailer park where Foskey lived. The park was located near the intersection of Highways 62 and 87 and has since been done away with.
Investigators reported making a gruesome discovery inside Foskey’s home, as blood covered numerous surfaces inside the residence. Although no body was found in the trailer, it was evident to investigators someone had been murdered inside the small residence.
Investigators worked to piece together what had happened. A dive team was initially sent out in search of Foskey’s body in the nearby waters of Cow Bayou. Officers did not have any leads indicating her body was there, only the fact that it was near the blood-spattered trailer.
A few days later, a fisherman would find parts of what was left of Foskey’s 5 feet 6 inch body in the murky waters of the Sabine River in Deweyville.
Badeaux remains filled with emotion over never seeing her daughter again and being forced to have a closed casket funeral.
“I had some rough times after leaving the kids father when they were young, but I would do it again because then I would have Theresa back,” Badeaux said.
Holidays, birthdays and anniversaries are a nightmare and will remain so for the rest of her life.
Through it all, she said her family never gave up on the case and she will not rest until she sees justice served for her daughter.
“I miss her every minute of the day,” Badeaux said. “I can only hope no other parent will have to endure this type of pain. As a mother, I regret I wasn’t able to be there for her on the night she was murdered.”
In July 2009, James Edward Holden, 41, of Deweyville, was arrested on capital murder charges in connection with the murder. The arrest was only a small part of the journey to seek justice and put peace in their lives.
“My family prayed, wished and hoped the case would move forward for so long,” Badeaux said.
A year later, in July 2010, the case went to trial.
Badeaux was sitting in a front row of seat of the courtroom when Holden was brought in for a pre-trial hearing. As Holden was leaving and being lead away by deputies, he looked at Badeaux and quietly said, “I didn’t do it.”
Badeaux was shaken, but determined to move forward.
As the day of the trial inched closer, each day was filled with anticipation and dread.
Barely holding on to her last bit of sanity, Badeaux made her way to the courthouse daily during the trial. She remained in the courtroom during most of the testimony, but left when graphic photographs were introduced into evidence.
First to take the stand was Robert Graham, 44, of West Orange. Graham had shared the trailer with Foskey and they had been dating for four years.
Graham testified he arrived at the trailer at about 11:30 a.m. on Sept. 8, 1995, from work and found his trailer covered in blood. He also described the bloody handprints and pools of blood on the floor.
The Texas Ranger, Jimmy Schroder, who investigated the case painted a picture to jurors of what he thinks happened on the night which ended Foskey’s life. He stated he believed Foskey was in the trailer’s kitchen/living room area when she was initially attacked. The attack continued as she went down the hall toward the back bedroom where the main door was located. The largest amount of bloodstained carpet was by that door and just inside the back room which indicated to the Ranger, this was where the fight for her life ended.
A photo of the bottom of Holden’s feet was shown to jurors. It showed what Schraeder described as “healing cuts” which were believed Holden received in the nearby wooded area where Foskey was found.
The defense put three witnesses on the stand and all of whom shared the idea Holden was innocent.
Defense witness Slade Strickland said he was with Holden the night of Foskey’s murder and said the two went to a pool tournament. He also testified Holden had stayed at his house on the night in question and had slept on his couch.
Dr. Terry Welke, of the Calcasieu Parish coroner’s office, performed the autopsy in 1995 shortly after Foskey’s body parts were found. Just a few days after Foskey was reported missing, her legs, arms, torso and head were found scattered in and near the river. Welke explained graphic pictures which showed Foskey’s body parts as the people in the courtroom sat silently. Some people looked down at the ground as the gruesome pictures were on the screen.
One thing which still haunts Badeaux is the fact, Foskey’s genital area and female reproductive organs were removed and still have not been found to this day.
However, the doctor determined the two stab wounds to her chest which also punctured her lungs were the cause of death. He also testified she had sustained six to seven wounds to the head with only one of them penetrating her skull. It is believed they were inflicted with an iron which was found in a wooded are near where her body was found.
The day after Foskey was reported missing, Holden voluntary gave a statement to police. Holden admitted to giving Foskey a ride home from a convenience store and they had intimate contact in her trailer home. DNA admitted into evidence would confirm the fact he had been at the trailer.
In closing arguments, the prosecutor stated Holden was responsible for the sexual assault and death of Foskey. The state based the charge on what they said were Holden’s lies in connection with sex as well as cuts on his feet they tied to being barefoot in the woods, where portions of Foskey’s body were found.
Defense attorney Sonny Cribbs said the small amount of evidence in the case didn’t mean Holden assaulted and killed Foskey, but only that he had been there.
After a few days the trial was over and sent to the jury for deliberation. For Badeaux each passing minute seemed like an eternity.
Badeaux said she felt blind-sided when the jury found him not guilty. As Holden’s family was elated, Badeaux was escorted out of the courthouse and left to deal with her feelings.
Now, more than two years later, with tears streaming down her face, the pain of not having justice served for Theresa is a very real emotion filled with pain.
“I waited for many years for the person responsible for stabbing and butchering my daughter to be apprehended and sent to prison,” Badeaux said. “Now, I don’t know what I am supposed to think.”
Foskey now has two grandchildren she never had the chance to see, much less to see her own daughters grow up to become young women. Her daughters Laura Lee and Amanda Judith are in their 20s and struggle too with a life without Theresa.
Badeaux describes her daughter as a happy, giving person and loved by many.
Each morning as she drinks a cup of coffee, Badeaux looks at Theresa’s picture and says good morning. She admits she has tried to maintain her life, but it is a constant struggle.
“I think about it everyday,” Badeaux said.
She added, she feels there is more to the investigation that was not mentioned in court, but hopes it will all come out in the near future. She vows to never give up on the case.
“I don’t know how I am supposed to feel anymore,” she said. “All I feel all the time is grief.”
Badeaux said she is “begging” anyone with information to contact the Orange County Sheriff’s Office at 409-883-2612.
A picture of Theresa Foskey before she was brutally murdered in September 1995.