Pleasure Island body investigation includes preliminary autopsy info & surveillance review

Published 12:36 pm Thursday, December 2, 2021

Mayor Thurman Bartie and city manager Ron Burton told Port Arthur Newsmedia they have informed the director of Pleasure Island to review film surveillance that might help solve the suspicious death of a body found on Pleasure Island.

Cameras were placed on the island at various entrance and exit areas last year.

That footage could prove crucial as authorities piece together details surrounding the death of 30-year-old Janice Summer Ross.

Janice Summer Ross

Justice of the Peace Precinct 2 Marc DeRouen said preliminary autopsy information returned Wednesday did not indicate a manner or cause of death.

DeRouen said toxicology results, which include examination of fluids, tissue and blood, are needed to determine a cause of death. That could take three months due to COVID-pandemic backup.

DeRouen said there was some blunt force trauma discovered on Ross’ back but that it was not significant enough to cause her death. He doubts it was even a contributory cause.

Port Arthur Police, who discovered Ross’ body Monday, have deemed the case a “suspicious death.”

Police said investigators are interested in Ross’ recent whereabouts and who she might have been with leading up to her death.

If anyone has seen or talked to her recently, 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. Her next of kin was notified Tuesday.

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.