Coroner: Stab in the back killed Roberts

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - A five day search for a Biloxi man ended Monday afternoon when the body of Francis "Frank" Roberts was discovered in the woods near the Jeff Davis Campus of Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College.

Monday evening, Harrison County Coroner Gary Hargrove revealed that Roberts died from a single stab wound to the back. Investigators are still searching for the murder weapon, and hope to soon determine exactly when Roberts was killed.

The 78-year-old's body was discovered Monday afternoon around 1:30pm. A helicopter from the Harrison County Sheriff's Department circled the area around the community college campus for a couple of hours. Finally, police converged on a dirt road behind the campus. The body was found on a private road about a quarter of a mile into the woods.

Roberts had been missing since Thursday night, and the case was being worked as a kidnapping. Investigators are looking at John Paul Necaise of Gulfport as a "person of interest" in the case because he had a meeting with Roberts at a local bank Thursday morning. Necaise is currently being held without bond at the Pearl River County jail on an unrelated charge.

A family friend told WLOX News on Monday that Roberts was a very successful home builder who was talking to Necaise about a possible joint business deal.

When Roberts didn't come home from that meeting, his wife began to worry. She then received a call from her husband's cell phone. The man's voice on the other end demanded a very large amount of ransom money.