Mark Andrew Rice (Photo source: Hancock Co. Sheriff's Dept.)
HANCOCK COUNTY, MS (WLOX) -
It was one of the most heinous attacks Chief Investigator Glenn Grannan says he has dealt with in Hancock County.
"She suffered injuries to her face. She suffered injuries to her throat; He attempted to strangle her with the electric cord attached to a lamp," Grannan said. "She suffered injuries to her buttocks area and back side as a result of a sexual attack."
Investigators believe Mark Andrew Rice committed the crime, then tried to take his own life by slitting his wrists. Deputies found Rice unconscious in the woman's home where she was attacked.
"It was a horrific scene, lots of blood," Investigator Anthony Gambino said.
Rice had just been released from jail in March after serving less than four years of a six year sentence for setting an 18-wheeler on fire with his dead fiancee inside. Rice told a jury his fiancee died during a drug fueled sex party to celebrate their engagement, and that he then drove her body from California home to the Kiln and set the truck on fire.
California district attorneys never tried Rice for murder and he was only convicted in Hancock County for arson and desecration of a human corpse. Now he is being charged with kidnapping, sexual battery and aggravated assault.
"We are very fortunate somebody didn't die. Very fortunate," Grannan said.
A person who lived with the victim in Bayside Park came home, saw the roommate tied up, ran out of the house and called 911. That person then went back in the house with neighbors to get the victim.
"They did everything they could to do, everything on scene to help the victim escape," Gambino said.
"She was bound with refrigeration tape, duct tape as we know it. Her hands were bound by electrical ties," Grannan said.
Deputies said Rice knew the victim.
"We don't want it to be a crime of passion. We know he had intent to do this," Grannan said. "Our goal is to take him out of society so someone else won't become a victim, and we think we have a very good opportunity at this point."
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