Port Arthur Police ask for help in case of woman found dead on Pleasure Island

Published 12:38 am Wednesday, December 1, 2021

The Port Arthur Police Department is asking if anyone has information on the woman found dead Monday afternoon on Pleasure Island.

The victim was publicly identified Tuesday as 30-year-old Janice Summer Ross.

Police said investigators are interested in Ross’ recent whereabouts and who she might have been with.

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If anyone has seen or talked to her recently, please call Port Arthur Police at 409-983-8600. You can also contact Crime Stoppers at 833-TIPS (8477), online at 833 TIPS.com or download the P3 TIPS App.

Authorities said Ross was categorized as a missing person out of Beaumont.

Next of kin was notified Tuesday.

Justice of the Peace Precinct 2 Marc DeRouen said an autopsy for Ross is expected to be performed Wednesday.

Port Arthur Police Department members work the scene of a dead body discovered Monday on Pleasure Island. (Monique Batson/The News)

Port Arthur Police investigators began work identifying the victim immediately Monday, taking finger prints to run with the FBI and DPS.

Det. Mike Hebert said Port Arthur Police dispatch received a call of a deceased person at approximately 2:18 p.m. Monday. The body was located in the 1000 block of North Levee Road.

Police are not releasing many case details in an effort to maintain the investigation’s integrity, including how long Ross had been there and who notified police.

However, the body was in a decent condition, meaning authorities do not expect Ross was there for an extended length of time.

DeRouen told Port Arthur Newsmedia there wasn’t anything obvious on scene like knife or bullet wounds indicating foul play.

“There were a bunch of marks on her back, which could be related to fire ants or bugs eating on her back side as she laid there,” he said.

“There is foul play in the fact she was placed there by someone. She didn’t collapse there. There is some kind of foul play, but whether there was any harm done or she potentially overdosed and (those with her) just said, ‘oh, I don’t want to have anything to do with this;’ that part we really don’t know at this time.”

Hebert said PAPD is working the case as “a suspicious death.”