Authorities need help to re-open a cold case

HANCOCK COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Hancock County investigators are re-opening a cold case after learning Samuel Little, a man police believe may be a serial killer, was in the county around the time of the crime.

Little is behind bars in California after DNA recently linked him to three murders in the 1980s. He is also a prime suspect in the murder of Melinda LuPree in Pascagoula.

Detective Darren Versiga, who has re-opened LuPree's case, contacted Hancock County authorities to see if they had any cold case between 1978 to 1982. That's when a timeline, put together by authorities across the country, has Little staying on the Gulf Coast.

What has made it tough though is Hurricane Katrina destroyed all the sheriff's department's files, but they have learned of one case they are trying to gather more information about.

Investigator John Luther said, "We started contacting former employees with the sheriff's office and we had learned there was skeletal remains of an unidentified female in the area of Pearlington."

Investigators believe the remains were found between 1982 and 1983.

Former deputy Claude Bello stopped by the sheriff's office Wednesday to share information he knows about the case. He said his nephews found the remains in the woods of Whipple Road in Pearlington and he was the first deputy on the scene.

"We found the murder weapon, the jeans, the shirt, her underwear, but we didn't have any ID on her. Only a tube of Chapstick," Bello said.

If you have any information on this case, call the Hancock County Sheriff's Department at (228) 466-6910.

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