Investigators exploring all options after woman's body found in - - The News for South Mississippi

Investigators exploring all options after woman's body found in ditch

Shelby Luciano (Photo source: Facebook) Shelby Luciano (Photo source: Facebook)

The identity of the Waveland woman whose body was discovered in a roadside ditch Thursday morning has been released. The body of 23-year-old Shelby Luciano was found on Waveland Avenue near Spruce Street around 6:30 a.m.

Police say her death may have been the result of a tragic hit-and-run accident, but investigators are not ruling out other possibilities.

Police say a man on his way to work discovered Luciano's body in a ditch.

"A passerby noticed that a shoe was near the roadway, and whenever he looked, he was able to see there was a female in the ditch," said Waveland police Investigator David Buckley.

The news spread quickly, and family members began to show up at the scene. The victim's mother, understandably, was too distraught to talk to the media but her aunt did.

"It's horrible. It's horrible to leave someone on the side of the road, to leave them in a ditch on the side of the road is just horrible. She was 23 years old," said Willie Ellis.

Ellis said although Luciano had struggles in her life, she didn't deserve to die like that.

"Shelby was just like a normal kid. She was a loving person. We all loved her. I mean, she just loved life. I hope they find out what happened," said Ellis.

Police say it looks like a tragic hit-and-run accident, but they won't know for sure until an autopsy has been performed and evidence taken from the scene has been analyzed.

"We're trying to look at this from all angles, cover our bases from everywhere. At this point, there is not a lot of information to give you. However, we are processing," Buckley said.

Investigators are exploring several theories which include hit-and-run, whether accidental or intentional, or even the possibility that Luciano's body was dumped there.

"That's obviously one thing we will be looking into, but we don't want to close anything else off. You go from information you get from the accident reconstructionist, from the lab tech here, the information they are going to find an also the autopsy and what it will reveal. There are many different areas, and we will put them all together and see where we land from there," said Buckley.

Hancock County Coroner Jim Faulk said the body was taken to Jackson on Thursday morning for an autopsy.

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