It’s been said that the bond of twins can never be broken, and a Maryland sister who lost her twin over 20 years ago continues to exemplify the statement. She has dedicated her life to finding justice for her best friend, a twin sister senselessly shot to death while sitting alone inside her car.
“We were 23, identical twins born two minutes apart. She was shot on my parents’ wedding anniversary,” twin sister Jenny Carrieri told CrimeOnline’s Nancy Grace. “It was March 2, 1996.”
As CrimeOnline previously reported, Joann “Jody” LeCornu was a senior studying geriatrics at Towson University in 1996, when she was brutally murdered after a night out with friends.
Jody worked part-time at Eastern Savings Bank and lived in a Baltimore apartment off of Gittings Avenue with her boyfriend. The future looked bright for Jody. There were no outward signs that she was any danger.
The day before her murder, Jody and her boyfriend got into an argument. Apparently frustrated that she was out drinking with her friends, he told her not to come home for the night. He was eventually cleared from any involvement in her death, but Jody’s boyfriend later said he regretted ever telling her to leave.
On the night of March 1, Jody spent hours drinking at the Mount Washington Tavern in Baltimore. She was known as a local in the tavern, often chatting it up with the bartender and other employees. At closing time, Jody drove one of the tavern employees home, then stopped by a liquor store and bought alcohol, according to police.
A little before 4 a.m. on March 2, Jody sat alone in the driver’s seat her white Honda Accord, in a desolate parking lot at the former Drumcastle Shopping Center, off of the 6400 block of York Road in Towson. Jenny said it was uncharacteristic of Jody to be by herself in a parking lot, as she was “scared of everything.”
Previous reports by The Baltimore Sun indicated that witnesses saw a black male in a camouflage jacket with a stocky build talking with Jody as he stood beside her car. Within minutes of noticing the suspect, witnesses said they heard a gunshot, according to police.
One of the witnesses told detectives that the man pulled up in a white BMW and parked near Jody’s car. The suspect appeared to be anywhere from 5-feet-10-inches tall to 6-feet, weighing around 200 to 220 pounds.
According to crime scene investigator and Atlanta’s Cold Case Investigative Research Institute director, Sheryl McCollum, the killer shot Jody in the back. The gunshot shattered through the back window of the car and pierced through the driver’s seat before hitting her in the back and severing her spine.
Joni managed to drive to a nearby Giant Food parking lot before she lost consciousness. The shooter followed her, reached into her car and took her purse and a cellphone bag. Detectives working the case never confirmed whether any of Jody’s credit cards or checks were used, Jenny said.
Baltimore County authorities, according to Jenny, acknowledged that they obtained security footage of the incident. Yet, they haven’t released any of the footage to the public. Jenny said she’s been asking relentlessly for years, hoping that the public would see the footage and perhaps someone would recognize the suspect.
“There are apparently four video footages and they say they can’t be enhanced,” Jenny said.
Baltimore police spokesperson, Shawn Vinson, told CrimeOnline that although authorities continue to actively investigate the case, he couldn’t comment on the evidence and information “they may or may not have.”
“This is just so wrong,” Nancy Grace said. “I don’t know if her credit cards were used, ATMs were used, if any checks were forged. I don’t know if they tried to trace her cellphone. I don’t know any of those answers. Why aren’t police releasing any of that?”
Jenny said she’s been getting roadblocked for years by the investigators on the case, the very people who are supposed to help.
“They’ve been inappropriate, disrespectful and horrible,” Jenny added.
She ended up filing a lawsuit against Baltimore County in a desperate attempt to gain access to her sister’s case files. She’s also taken out a whopping seven billboard signs with Jody’s photo splashed across the front, reminiscent of the Oscar-winning movie, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.”
“She [Jenny] literally had to sue the police department to find out how her sister died,” McCollum said. “I’ve never known a homicide case where the family was not told the manner of death……Jennifer didn’t even know she [Jody] was shot in the back.”
With the help of McCollum, Jenny gained access to her sister’s autopsy report in August 2019. It’s a step in the right direction, but there are still many unanswered questions.
The lawsuit was eventually settled with the promise that authorities would continue to work on Jody’s case, but Jenny said she still hasn’t seen progress. Under Maryland law, authorities have the right to keep case files disclosed, but they also have the option of releasing them if they choose.
“We’re still where we were 23 years ago,” Jenny said. “It’s like they don’t want to solve her case.”
Anyone with information about the LeCornu’s killing is urged to call Baltimore County Police at 410-887-3943, Maryland’s Metro Crime Stoppers at 866-756-2587, or submit information through the website www.metrocrimestoppers.org.
Check back with CrimeOnline for part three of the story, when Jenny explains the frustrations of dealing with “inappropriate and unwanted actions” as she continues to fight for justice.
[Featured Photo: Jenny and Jody LeCornu/Handout]