Gautier police spot vehicle of Moss Point man accused of sexual assault

Gautier police spot vehicle of Moss Point man accused of sexual assault
Police say the sexual assault happened near Ruby Street. (Photo source: WLOX News)
Police say the sexual assault happened near Ruby Street. (Photo source: WLOX News)

MOSS POINT, MS (WLOX) - Police spotted the vehicle of Jimmy Williams in Gautier Friday, but so far police have not found Williams.  Moss Point police along with U.S. Marshals are searching for Williams after he was accused of kidnapping and sexually assaulting a teenage girl on her way to school Wednesday in Moss Point.

Gautier police say an officer spotted a vehicle associated with the suspect and followed it to Riverside Drive in Gautier. The vehicle was being driven by someone else. Williams wasn't in the vehicle or at the home. Police say they were granted permission to search the home and found a large number of marijuana plants growing inside the home.

Meanwhile, Moss Point police say tips are coming in and officers are working a number of leads as they continue to search for Williams.

The victim, who detectives say is 14 to 15 years old, told police she was walking to the bus stop when the suspect approached her right outside her home and pointed a gun at her, forcing her into a vehicle. She said the man drove her to an area near Ruby Street, where he sexually assaulted her.

Afterward, the suspect reportedly dropped the victim off at Moss Point High School. Police say as soon as she arrived on campus, the student went to a teacher and reported what happened. Police arrived at the school at 7:42 a.m. after school security contacted them. Authorities say the victim was taken for medical treatment once officers arrived, and a sexual assault evidence kit was taken.

The teenager told officers the suspect was "a man named Jimmy." According to authorities, the girl and Williams did not have a personal relationship but that the teenager did recognize him as an acquaintance of her stepdad's that she was introduced to about a year ago.

After further investigation, police were able to identify 31-year old Jimmy Williams of Moss Point as a suspect. They say he is also known to have lived in Gautier. Authorities tell WLOX that they expect to charge Williams with one count of kidnapping and one count of sexual battery.

According to Det. Kimberlee Snowden, the lead investigator on the case, Williams has outstanding warrants in other jurisdictions. The detective did not specify what those charges are but did say that he had never been charged with any crimes similar to these.

This incident has caused Moss Point residents to call for a change. Resident Evelyn Viverette said she's saddened to hear about what happened to the victim.

"We ain't had no mess going on like that lately. But uh I think we need a chief," said Viverette. "Our officers should patrol around in the mornings when the kids getting on the bus. They should be patrolling around the street."

Anyone with information about Williams or this incident is asked to contact Det. Snowden or the Moss Point Police Department at 228475-1726 or visit Mississippi Coast Crime Stoppers' website.

Police said Williams could be driving a white SUV. If you see him - call law enforcement immediately. Investigators believe you should consider him armed and dangerous.

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