The Baton Rouge Police Department today arrested two individuals in north Louisiana and New York, charging them with Criminal Conspiracy, Simple Robbery and Murder in connection with a 1984 case.
Ronald Dalton Dunnagan, 64, Bossier City, LA, was charged with Criminal Conspiracy, Simple Robbery and 1st Degree Murder. Leila Mulla, 47, Astoria, NY, was charged with Criminal Conspiracy, Simple Robbery and 2nd Degree Murder.
Both are accused of conspiring to rob Gary Kergan nearly 30 years ago. Kergan, a local businessman, was last seen alive at Mulla’s north Baton Rouge home on November 29, 1984. His car was later found abandoned in Metairie, Louisiana. A significant amount of blood was located in the trunk of the car, but it could not be determined at the time whether it was Kergan’s. Kergan’s body has never been found to this date but he was declared legally dead by the courts in 1986.
Both Dunnagan and Mulla were arrested in December 1984 and charged in connection with Kergan’s death, however the District Attorney at the time declined to prosecute due to lack of evidence and both were released.
As part of our agency’s Cold Case review, blood from the trunk was recently re-tested at the Louisiana State Police Crime Lab and DNA analysis showed that it did in fact belong to the victim.
As a result, investigators traveled to Bossier City and Astoria, NY this week to contact and question Dunnagan and Mulla. Warrants for their arrest were obtained and both have been re-arrested and will be returned to Baton Rouge to face prosecution.
The arrests were made with the assistance of the Bossier Parish Sheriff’s Office, the New York Police Department and the Queens, NY District Attorney’s Office.
More Details of Disappearance
Kergan was last seen leaving the Night Spot Lounge on Plank Road in Baton Rouge, Louisiana on November 28, 1984. He was accompanied by Leila “Erika” Mulla, a teenage exotic dancer, at the time. Kergan was wearing over $8,000 worth of jewelry and carrying $2,000 in cash when he disappeared. He has never been heard from again. His late model pink Cadillac was later found abandoned in Metairie, Louisiana, with puddles of blood in the trunk.
Authorities believe Mulla and her boyfriend, Ronald Delton Dunnagan, murdered Kergan inside their apartment on Byron Street on the night of his disappearance. They fled the area for Las Vegas, Nevada after his disappearance. When authorities searched Mulla and Dunnagan’s apartment, they found evidence of a violent struggle, including bloodstains. Entries in Mulla’s diary indicated she was planning to murder Kergan. Both she and Dunnagan were arrested and charged with his homicide, but they were eventually released for lack of evidence, as Kergan’s body could not be found and Mulla refused to testify against Dunnagan.
Kergan and his brother co-owned a chain of Sonic drive-in restaurants in southern Louisiana in 1984. He was married in 1984 and has a son. He has never been located and his case remains unsolved.
News clip from Kergan Disappearance
“The 1984 disappearance of the Crowley businessman quickly evolved from a search for Kergan to a search for his body.
Kergan, who owned a chain of Sonic Drive-in restaurants, was last seen Nov. 28, 1984, at a Baton Rouge lounge in the company of an exotic dancer.
The dancer and her boyfriend were arrested and booked with Kergan’s murder but were released when no body could be found.
Kergan’s car was found in Metairie with a pool of blood in the trunk.
Kergan was married with an 11-year-old son. In news reports, his wife described her husband as generous, loving, ambitious and motivated.
“He was almost naive in his trust of people sometimes,” she told The Advocate in 1985. “He’d give you the shirt off his back, if you’d ask him.”