Suspect in Felisha Pearson murder indicted in 2006 Lavender Doe murder case

Suspect in Felisha Pearson murder indicted in 2006 Lavender Doe murder case
A sketch of a woman identified only as "Lavender Doe" is pictured. (Source: Gregg County Sheriff's Office)
A sketch of a woman identified only as "Lavender Doe" is pictured. (Source: Gregg County Sheriff's Office)
Felisha Pearson (Source: Longview Police Department)
Felisha Pearson (Source: Longview Police Department)

LONGVIEW, TX (KLTV) - A man who is suspected of murdering a Longview woman is now a suspect in the murder of a second, unidentified woman, whose body was found in 2006.

Joseph Wayne Burnette has been indicted in connection with both cases, officials said during a Monday afternoon joint press conference with the Gregg County Sheriff's Office and the Longview Police Department.

Officials say he confessed to both murders during the course of the investigation.

Burnette is suspected of murdering Felisha Pearson, 28. Pearson was reported missing on July 19, 2018. Her body was later found on July 24 at a location off of Birdsong Street in Longview.

An arrest warrant affidavit shows Burnette and Pearson lived together, residing at the Contessa Inn.

After her death, Burnette was arrested for failure to register as a sex offender with a previous conviction.

On Aug. 21, officials say Burnette gave a full confession "which corroborated the facts of the investigation into the death of Felisha Pearson and the murder of a female in Gregg County in 2006." The woman, who remains unidentified, was dubbed Lavender Doe by law enforcement officials.

Longview detectives interviewed Burnette on July 25 in connection with the Pearson case.

On August 21, officials say he gave a full confession "which corroborated the facts of the investigation into the death of Felisha Pearson and the murder of a female in Gregg County in 2006." The woman, who remains unidentified, was dubbed Lavender Doe by law enforcement officials.

He was indicted on August 27 for the murder of Pearson and Lavender Doe. He was also indicted for failure to register as a sex offender.

Now, officials are searching for information about Lavender Doe in order to identify her.

According to LPD and the GCSO, on the day of the murder, Lavender Doe was possibly at Walmart Super Center on Fourth Street in Longview.

"She was possibly walking the parking lot by the lawn and garden, she may have been soliciting customers as they entered and exited the store trying to sell items from a brochure," officials said in a news release.

Lavender Doe was a white female in her late teens or early 20s with reddish blonde or light brown hair. She was about 5 fee 2 inches tall, weighed about 100 to 120 pounds and was found wearing blue jeans and a violet/maroon sweater.

Officials say her first name may be Ashley.

To provide information on the case, call Gregg County CID Lt. Eddie Hope, 903-236-8400.

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