August 2, 2018 10:51:48 AM
The contents of this article have been modified since its original posting.
Authorities have identified a person of interest in the murder of a missing Starkville man whose body was found in Lowndes County Wednesday.
At a press conference Thursday, Lowndes County Sheriff Mike Arledge identified 27-year-old Joshua Murry of Columbus as a suspect in the death of 24-year-old Jarrel Davonte Ward.
Murry is currently being held in Lowndes County Adult Detention Center on misdemeanor charges unrelated to Ward's death, but Arledge said he could face charges for Ward's death in the next few days.
Ward's body was discovered in a wooded area near Sand Road Wednesday night by an area resident who contacted Lowndes County Sheriff's Office. LCSO is working with Starkville Police Department and other area law enforcement agencies on the case.
Ward's family reported Ward missing last week. Starkville police began investigations after a missing person's report was filed Saturday night. According to the police report, Ward had been missing since Thursday morning.
Ward's family initially contacted CPD on Friday. CPD Chief Fred Shelton previously told The Dispatch that Ward was last reported as being seen at the Donut Factory on Highway 45 in Columbus. He also said CPD encouraged the family to file a missing person report with SPD since Ward is from Starkville.
Lowndes County Coroner Greg Merchant said Ward's body had been there for "several days" when it was discovered Wednesday.
LCSO Chief Deputy Marc Miley said since the case is under investigation and he could not release details. The body has been taken to Jackson by the coroner's office. The Dispatch will update this story online as details become available.
2. Vacation 'wish list': Columbus Airbnb ranked among top-sought in state COLUMBUS & LOWNDES COUNTY
4. Man charged with attempted murder for using vehicle as weapon COLUMBUS & LOWNDES COUNTY
5. Grandmother rescues toddler from burning home COLUMBUS & LOWNDES COUNTY