America's Most Wanted eyes Ocean Springs murder case

Michael Surber, Murder victim (Photo Source: Family)
Michael Surber, Murder victim (Photo Source: Family)

By Sylvia Hall – bio | email

OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - John Walsh has used his television show to track down suspected criminals all over the country. Now, America's Most Wanted may turn its attention to the murder of ace billiards player Michael Surber.

Show representatives said they're particularly interested in the story because the only suspect is the man last seen with Surber. Despite a picture obtained from surveillance video by Ocean Springs Police, the man has yet to be identified.

"At this point, because leads have slowed down, we're moving forward as best as possible," said Ocean Springs Police Lieutenant John Flowers. "But I would take assistance from anyone that can provide information or help identify the suspect."

In November, Flowers and a team of Ocean Springs investigators traced the suspect to a town in west Georgia. They learned he was using an alias, but detectives tell us they got no other significant leads. A month ago, they called on America's Most Wanted for help.

"We didn't want to jeopardize the integrity of the investigation," Flowers said. "But as the leads grew cold, we decided to try to touch base with America's Most Wanted to see if they would consider running the story."

America's Most Wanted crews said they are starting to review the case right now. They are still in preliminary stages, and they don't know yet when or if they'll pick it up. Surber's friend Art Tripp hopes they do.

"I thought this would be a great story. You're talking about a small Mississippi town. There's gambling involved; you know pool and a tavern is owned by a city councilman. It just sounded like something that would really take off," Tripp said.

He thinks this could be a ticket to justice for his friend.

"If it could ever get on America's Most Wanted, they'd catch this guy in a week," Tripp said.

Flowers said police have also submitted DNA to the state crime lab and hope the results will help identify their suspect.

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