Confession reveals new details in murder of missing Picayune man

Updated: Jul. 22, 2020 at 4:16 PM CDT
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PEARL RIVER COUNTY, Miss. (WLOX) - An affidavit brought new details forward in the case of Willie Jones, the 28-year-old man who was reported missing in the Ponderosa area on July 6.

Among the most shocking details in the document was Dustin M Gray’s post-Miranda confession that 18-year-old Austin Brookshire shot and killed Willie Jones inside of his car— later giving a description where Jone’s body could be found.

18-year-old Austin Brookshire of Rankin County
18-year-old Austin Brookshire of Rankin County(Pearl River County Sheriff's Department)

Dustin M. Gray’s encounter with employees at the Tire Shop in South Picayune was an important part of the puzzle that was also inside the affidavit.

According to Detective Mike Decelle, service was denied to Gray on July 6 due to what appeared to be “blood in between and under the rear passenger seat” and “...two spent shell casings in the vehicle.” The Tire Shop employees also said the outside of Gray’s car was muddy and a portion of the front bumper was missing.

The employees told the detective that Gray pulled out two substantial folds of cash from his front short pockets and asked how much it would cost to clean up the mess. The workers said they denied him service again.

During the investigation, Decelle learned from multiple interviews that Willie had a noteworthy amount of cash on him— estimated to be between $10,000 to $40,000— on the day he was reported missing and the day prior. He also found out that Jones could have also been storing this money in a shoebox.

Willie Ray Q. Jones
Willie Ray Q. Jones(Picayune Police Department)

The woman who filed the initial missing report about Willie Jones, Ambreia Jones, said Jones was last seen at her house in Picayune with Dustin Gray around 1:00 a.m. on July 6.

Gray said he arrived at Ambreia’s house around 11:00 p.m to drive Willie to “re-up” on illegal narcotics. He said they left Ambreia Jones’ house and returned soon after they left because Willie Jones opted not to ride with him for reasons that are not known.

After reviewing Willie Jones’ phone records, Decelle came to the conclusion that Gray was the last active call recorded on Willie Jones’ cellphone.

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