LONG BEACH, MS (WLOX) - Investigators now believe a man found shot to death on the beach this week did commit suicide. But they say he did so at a home in Long Beach, not on the beach where he was found.
Sheriff Melvin Brisolara said two women, in an attempt to cover up the suicide, stripped Jeff Bennett naked and moved his body to the beach near USM's Gulf Park campus.
Amber Lynn May, 29, and Carrie Lynn Ferguson, 28, are both charged with Felony Tampering with Evidence.
The 29-year-old's body was discovered by a jogger around 6am Tuesday morning. Investigators initially thought it was a suicide, but some of the evidence just didn't add up.
They eventually learned that Bennett was at May's residence in Long Beach just before his death, and in the company of both women. They said Bennett shot himself inside the residence that morning, and they decided to move the body to the beach in an attempt to conceal the suicide.
Investigators said the women tried to destroy evidence by throwing out the clothes he was wearing, but they were eventually found and collected by deputies. A search was conducted on May's home and vehicle, and evidence was collected.
The investigation into Bennett's death is continuing.
May and Ferguson are being held at the Harrison County Adult Detention Center. May is being held on a MS Dept. of Corrections warrant for probation violation for a previous conviction of credit card fraud. Ferguson is also being held without bond for a previous conviction of attempted operation of a clandestine drug lab in St. Tammany Parish, LA.