Deputies Search For New Clues In Three Year Old Murder Investigation

Cold cases, its a term used by police to describe investigations that have gone unsolved for years.

Right now one of those cold cases in Jackson County is starting to heat up again. Investigators say with the help of DNA evidence they have identified a suspect in a three year old murder investigation.

What makes this case unique is, while a suspect may have been identified, the victim remains unknown.

The mystery began on June 18, 2001 when Seargent Ken McClenic was called to a crime scene off Old Stage Road, only half a mile from the Nine Mile Lake Bridge.

Officials say a passer by became suspicious of a rolled up carpet and some blankets on the side of the road.

"Something roused his suspicion thinking there may be a body in there and he contacted the Sheriff's Department and of course we determined there was a body in the carpet," said McClenic

Three years later McClenic and his fellow detectives are pouring through case files and photo searching for clues that may help them find out who the man wrapped up in the carpet is, and who may have killed him.

"This is the first time that I know of a case in our county where we don't have the identity of the victim," said Lieutenant Kim Versiga of the Jackson County Sheriff's Department.

"Usually on the average every three to six months we look to see if there's any new evidence or possibly if the investigator that looked at it before missed something," said Captain Mick Sears of the Jackson County Sheriff's Department

Investigators released a sketch of the unidentified alleged murder victim, who they describe as being middle aged, weighing close to 250 pounds and almost five foot-six inches tall.

The man had no wallet or ID to help investigators, but he did have several distinct tattoos.

"The deceased also had several tattoos including one of the name John. [093620] A tattoo of a bird possibly a peacock or a phoenix on his right upper back and a tattoo of an Old English letter which looks like an E or an F," said Sears.

"I believe our chances of solving the case would be greatly enhanced if we could identify our victim," said McClenic.

The man's identity may not be as crucial to solving the case as the evidence found on the blankets the body was wrapped in.

Recent findings have created new developments in the case.

"This includes not only a suspect but DNA evidence which is being processed to submit to the Mississippi Crime Lab," said Sears.

DNA evidence that may connect their suspect to the crime has detectives optimistic.

In hopes of creating more new leads investigators allowed us to show pictures of the blankets the body was wrapped in.

They say they're hopeful someone will recognize them and come forward with the missing thread, that will help them solve their unanswered questions.

Who is the man they found on Old Stage Road?, and who killed him?

[Capt. Mick Sears/Jackson Co. Sheriff's Dept. 095705]:

"Not only does he deserve to be identified but also his killer or killers need to be brought to justice," said Sears.

Captain Sears says until those questions are answered he and his detectives will continue digging.

If you have any information regarding the man's identity or about the case contact the Jackson County Sheriff's Department at 769-3063 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-433-TIPS.