Pascagoula neighbors in fear after homeless woman's murder

Amanda Griffin
Amanda Griffin

PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) - By Patrice Clark – bio | email

PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) – A Pascagoula woman's killer is still on the loose a week after her murder. On Thanksgiving Day, twenty-eight-year old Amanda Callahan Griffin was found shot to death in the woods near a tent city homeless camp, off of Nathan Hale Avenue.

Investigators said they have been questioning the homeless woman's friends and family members including her boyfriend, who is now considered "a person of interest in the case." But police said they still don't have any solid suspects or a motive in Griffin's death.

The killing has some people who live in that part of Pascagoula fearing for their safety.

Ernest Wilson and Erica Cooper said they feel very uneasy living in their home off Nathan Hale Avenue. The couple said the Thanksgiving Day murder, along with drugs and break-ins in this neighborhood have frightened them.

"I have had stuff stolen from my under my porch," Wilson said. "Farther on down the road, a man I work with at the shipyard, he was broken into twice. Farther on down the road, the Glenns had some stuff stolen from them and it is just a never ending problem."

They blame the constant crime on the large number of drifters and vagrants who have somehow made their area home.

"We got people walking up and down the street we don't recognize," Cooper said.

"Are they rapists? Murders? Who are they?" Wilson asked.

Both Wilson and Cooper said what this area needs now is more police patrolling the parks, the woods and the streets to catch trouble makers.

"It needs to get better... A lot of people in this neighborhood feel the same way," Wilson said.

Pascagoula Police Detective Darren Versiga said police are stepping up their efforts to combat crime.

"We have been here several times; we have had the police here several times," Detective Versiga said. "We do understand that this is a problem and we are going to handle as best we can."

These neighbors said they hope the police can make a difference soon.

"We know something bad is going to happen in this community again.  If we don't stand up together as a community, we are doomed for failure."

Pascagoula police want to hear from citizens about problem areas. They still urge anyone with information about the murder of Amanda Griffin to call them at (228) 938-6684.

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