A manhunt for the accused killer of a New Orleans schoolteacher is now focusing on the Upper Midwest, including Iowa and Minnesota — where both the suspect and the victim have roots.
Liz Quackenbush, 39, was stabbed to death in her home on March 3. A couple days later, New Orleans police identified her live-in boyfriend, 36-year-old Preston Higgs, as the suspect.
They have been searching for him since, and now, according to the New Orleans Times-Picayune, authorities have tracked him to Iowa, and believe he may be en route to Minnesota.
The paper says there are several clues he's been in Iowa, with authorities in Van Buren County having found his cell phone, while there were "multiple calls about a local homeless man who resembled Higgs" in Lee County.
Higgs could still be driving his silver Chevrolet Impala, which is registered in Louisiana but "might now have a Minnesota license plate," the Times-Picayune says.
The publication adds that both Quakenbush and Higgs grew up in Minnesota, and dated in Rochester before eventually moving to New Orleans.
The Rochester Post-Bulletin details the pair's local ties, with Quakenbush having been an instructor at the Rochester Alternative Learning Center (ALC) — and making the news several times over the years for her work with the Green Thumb Initiative at the ALC, which "focused on teaching real-world skills through gardening, grant-writing and beekeeping."
The paper says Higgs has a criminal record, having been convicted over a 2003 incident in which he assisted in an armed robbery at a Minnesota gas station and then "forced his way into a pregnant woman's car at gunpoint" and sexually assaulted her. He was released from prison in 2018.
Friends of Quakenbush in Rochester have launched a GoFundMe aimed at starting a memorial fund to help the teacher's family. As the page notes, her nickname was simply "Q." You can find the fundraiser by clicking right here.
Anyone who sees Higgs or knows his whereabouts should contact authorities.