Suspects In Mississippi Woman's Killing Caught In Louisiana

Three suspects will face capital murder charges after being caught in Louisiana trying to cash the checks of an 85-year-old dairy farmer whose body was found in the trunk of her car, authorities said.

Walthall County Coroner Shannon Hartzog said Edith Blackwell of Tylertown had disappeared from her farm on Tuesday. Her car, with the woman's body in the trunk, was found off a logging road in the Dexter community, he said.

Investigators were directed to the car and Blackwell's body by one of the suspects, picked up over the Louisiana line in Bogalusa after trying to cash a number of her checks, Bogalusa Police Sgt. Darrell Darden said.

They were identified with bank surveillance video.

The suspects were identified as Carey Williams, 28, who once worked for the victim; Williams' wife, Taquana Bell, 29, and Laroncus Smith, 21, Williams' nephew.

Officials said they were unsure whether Blackwell was killed before she was locked in the trunk or if she died of suffocation.

Louisiana officials were processing the suspects on Thursday for extradition to Mississippi.

Blackwell had been in the dairy business for almost 50 years. She took over the farm about 28 years ago following the death of her husband.

(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)