(DeSoto County, MS) Most people have rarely seen the kind of effort put forth to catch a criminal than with the highway murders of the last week.
Now the heat is on, and officers say they’re determined to find their man.
Since State investigators in Mississippi put out word that someone could be impersonating a law officer, and that person could be the one responsible for two shooting deaths, deputies and police officers say they’ve checked out hundreds of reports of suspicious cars.
None of the reports turned up anything substantial, but since the apparently random shootings last week of Tom Schlender and Lori Ann Carswell, they’ve definitely turned up the heat.
Sources in several agencies say officers in counties from DeSoto to Quitman worked overtime all weekend long stopping suspicious cars all over the area, as they staked out major roads.
They’re even pulling officers from court cases.
Attorney Jim Franks noticed it in Justice Court , ”That doesn’t usually happen. They were asking for continuances on cases that weren’t pressing.”
District Attorney John Champion showed up at both murder scenes and, in an extremely rare instance, called local Sheriff’s and Police Chiefs to stand with him as he talked openly about the crimes, ”Things we located at the scene lead us to believe both subjects were killed on the side of the road.”
While that sounded chilling to many, lots of people took comfort in the fact that most of the stories were long on rumor and short on truth.
”We eventually found out from the news conference yesterday which was mind settling for me,” said Lynn Sturgill of Tunica.
Local Sheriff’s put out the word though public statements and even on Facebook, that drivers would get extra consideration on traffic stops.
”It’s gonna be ok. They’re not gonna be punished for not immediately stopping. Our personnel is aware of what’s going on and have been instructed on how to handle that,” said Tate County Sheriff Brad Lance.
Meantime, Lance said they’re asking the public to do what officers are doing, and that’s stay on the lookout for anything suspicious, “Information from the public is going to be critical.”
And that’s one thing every sheriff, every Police Chief and every officer agrees on.
Word is, officers have very little to go on, and tips from the public, nearby, and even those who passed through and are long gone, and who may see or read about this case online have become a critical resource to stop these highway killings.