A Gretna woman with a history of prostitution- and drug-related arrests has been jailed in the deadly shooting of a Danish tourist in New Orleans East last week, authorities said Thursday.
Brandy Myles, 36, faces a count of second-degree murder in the killing of Poul Hansen, 44, who was found dead early Saturday from a bullet wound to the head in the 4200 block of America Street.
Hansen was in New Orleans as part of a motorcycle tour in the U.S. with fellow riders from Denmark. The group was staying at a Super 8 motel on Chef Menteur Highway, an off-the-beaten-path location for most tourists, but close to the scenic byways along the coast as well as Interstate 10.
Hansen’s body was found a few blocks from the motel.
According to a law enforcement source, the New Orleans Police Department used footage from a surveillance camera to link a car spotted near Hansen’s body to Myles.
Authorities tracked Myles to her apartment in Gretna, where Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office deputies took her into custody on counts that included illegally possessing heroin, drug paraphernalia and pharmaceuticals, Sheriff’s Office Capt. Jason Rivarde said.
New Orleans police questioned Myles at that point, and she told them she met Hansen on Bourbon Street in the French Quarter late Friday or early Saturday, the source said.
Myles claimed she and Hansen agreed to go back to his hotel to have sex, but they ended up pulling into a nearby residential neighborhood at his request, according to the source.
Myles allegedly claimed that she and Hansen briefly got out of the car, but another man approached and frightened her, prompting her to speed away alone.
Myles said she heard gunfire as she drove off, suggesting the man who startled her had killed Hansen, according to the source.
But police didn’t believe that key aspects of her account matched evidence developed by investigators, and they secured a warrant to book her with murder once she is transferred to New Orleans’ jail.
An official statement from the NOPD announcing Myles’ arrest Thursday didn’t provide specifics related to the case.
She faces mandatory life imprisonment if convicted of murder.
Myles has a lengthy arrest record. She appeared to still be under state supervision following convictions of aggravated battery and illegal pharmaceutical possession, according to court records. Other prior convictions include theft, illegal possession of stolen property and access device fraud.
Additionally, court records show multiple arrests between 2010 and 2012 in which she was accused of prostitution-related offenses on Bourbon.
Hansen belonged to “Blood of Heroes,” a motorcycle riders’ group made up of Danish war veterans, according to a social media post. He had apparently shared dinner with some compatriots before he separated from the group and was reported missing.
Though he was found dead the next morning, authorities didn’t establish Hansen’s identity until Monday.
An attorney for Hansen’s family said Hansen was missing some belongings, which led to suspicions that he had been shot during a robbery.
In a statement on Thursday, the U.S. embassy in the Danish capital of Copenhagen said Hansen had served Denmark’s army well in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The embassy extended condolences to the family of Hansen, who originally hailed from Greenland’s capital city, Nuuk. Greenland is considered to be part of Denmark.
“We greatly appreciate his service to his country and are truly saddened by his loss,” the statement added.
Staff writer John Simerman contributed to this report.
This post has been updated with additional details since it was first published.
©2019 The Advocate, Baton Rouge, La.
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.