August 14, 2018 10:36:18 AM
The contents of this article have been modified since its original posting.
A suspect has now been charged in the death of 24-year-old Jarrel Ward of Starkville.
Joshua Murry, 27, of Columbus has officially been charged with murder, according to a press release Lowndes County Sheriff Mike Arledge issued Monday afternoon. During a press conference Aug. 2, Arledge identified Murry, who was already in Lowndes County Adult Detention Center for an unrelated misdemeanor charge, as a person-of-interest in Ward's death.
Ward went missing July 27 and his body was discovered Aug. 1 in a wooded area near Sand Road in Lowndes County. Coroner Greg Merchant said Ward's body had been there for "several days" by the time it was discovered.
When contacted Monday, Merchant did not release any further details of Ward's cause of death, citing he had not yet received the preliminary autopsy report from the state medical examiner's office.
Columbus police arrested Murry on a contempt of court charge Aug. 1, the same day Ward's body was found.
Murry's bond has not been set. The press release said his case will be presented to the next convening of a Lowndes County grand jury.
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