Arrest made in Hancock Co. murder investigation

Edward Winnicki (Photo source: Waveland Police Dept.)
Edward Winnicki (Photo source: Waveland Police Dept.)

WAVELAND, MS (WLOX) - Less than three days after discovering a body in a shed, Waveland Police have arrested and charged another homeless man with murder. Both men, the suspect and victim, were well known to many in the community.

Authorities said David Bourgeois was stabbed more than ten times, but those wounds were not what killed him.

"The official cause of death was asphyxiation by a foreign object being shoved in his throat," said Investigator Matt Sekinger with the Waveland Police Department.

Police wouldn't say what that object was, but have charged Edward Winnicki with Bourgeois' death. Winnicki lived in the shed next door to the one Bourgeois had made his home.

"He was in-fact on the scene the night the body was discovered and was arrested for unrelated charges. Our investigation lead us to him. When I sat down to talk to him, I received a confession from him, " explained Sekinger.

Police say the two knew each other well and had an on-again/off-again friendship over the years. They did not release a motive. But did say Bourgeois was killed four to five days before his body was found on Christmas Day.

"In society today, it's easy to write off two homeless people. I look at this as a very sad situation. Yes, both people are homeless, but in my opinion, they are both fixtures in the community. Everybody knew who David Bourgeois and Edward Winnicki were. You might not have known their names, but you've passed them on the streets. You knew those faces. Unfortunately, that's not going to be anymore," said the investigator.

WLOX News had interviewed both homeless men in the past. In 2010 Winnicki, a Vietnam veteran, admitted he often ate out of local restaurants' dumpsters. Many kind hearted residents would often take food and warm clothing to both men.

Winnicki is in the Hancock County Jail being held on a $1 million bond. His preliminary hearing date will be January 9, 2014 in Waveland City Court.

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