GAUTIER, MS (WLOX) - South Mississippi's search for an accused murderer is getting national attention. America's Most Wanted agreed to air a segment that local investigators hope will provide the break to bring a fugitive to justice.
Millions across the country will see the face of 52-year-old Rodney Joseph Lasseigne. He's charged with killing his mother at her home in Gautier back in July.
U.S. Marshals say they believe someone somewhere has seen Lasseigne. They know if the right person with the right information tunes in to the episode of America's Most Wanted, Lasseigne's days as a wanted man could be numbered.
By the time Juanita Gibson was found dead in her home, the Jackson County coroner said the 68-year-old probably had been dead for several days. The investigation into the beating death led Gautier police issue an arrest warrant for Gibson's son, Rodney Lasseigne. Before an arrest could be made, officers say Lasseigne disappeared.
"This particular guy, his history has shown that he has the ability to travel across the country and have very little contact with any family members or any other folks," said Justin Vickers, U.S. Marshal. "So we think there is a high probability this guy has left the local area and possibly even left the country."
Rodney Lasseigne's fugitive profile is already on America's Most Wanted web site. On Saturday night Lasseigne photo was featured on the show television broadcast at the request of the U.S. Marshal's Gulf Coast Regional Task Force.
Vickers said "America's Most Wanted. Their whole process is to help local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies catch people. That's what their show is all about."
"There's obviously a lot of fugitives out there and only a certain number of people that can be aired on any one particular episode. I think they look at a person's ability to be a danger to the community and the ability of national television coverage may bring to the ability to catch the guy."
Marshals say the national television exposure has the potential to expose where ever Lasseigne is hiding.
"More than likely he's in contact with people on a day to day basis,"said Vickers. "Those people we hope are going to watch this show and may be able to give us some information as to where he is located."