Search continues for missing Biloxi man - - The News for South Mississippi

Search continues for missing Biloxi man

Benny Johnston Benny Johnston
Sean Merritt Sean Merritt
Brian Bradshaw (Photo source: Harrison Co. Sheriff's Dept.) Brian Bradshaw (Photo source: Harrison Co. Sheriff's Dept.)

By Jessica Bowman – email

HARRISON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - A Biloxi man is missing and authorities and family fear he could be dead. Benny Johnston, 25, hasn't been seen since Thursday night at a home on Thornton Hill Road. Harrison County deputies were called to a home there where they found blood. They said witnesses described a brutal assault.

Harrison County Sheriff's investigators said they believe Biloxi resident Benny Johnston was beaten at the home he was visiting in the Gulfport subdivision Crown Hill Commons late Thursday night.

"We received a call on an assault that happened on Thornton Hill Drive," said Sheriff Melvin Brisolara.

Sheriff Brisolara said the homeowner, Cali Merritt, was in the house with Johnston, as well as her brother, Sean Merritt, and Brian Bradshaw when Cali noticed something suspicious going on. Brisolara said that prompted her to leave and get her father who lives nearby. The sheriff said when she returned with her dad, she said all three of the men were gone and all they found was blood, so they called authorities.

"When the units arrived, we could see where an assault did take place. There was quite a bit of blood in the garage and none of the parties were at the scene when we arrived."

Sheriff Brisolara said witnesses told deputies the names of the two people they claimed beat Johnston.

"We have not found the subject who was assaulted yet. We're still looking for that individual at this time," said Sheriff Brisolara.

But, the sheriff said they have found and arrested both Sean Merritt and Brian Bradshaw and charged them with aggravated assault. The two men are being held and the Harrison County Jail under a $200,000 bond.

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