Man Found Dead In Torched Car In St. Francis County

(St. Francis County, AR) A mother is pleading for answers after she says her son was found dead in a burned out car.

The car was found Monday morning on Highway 774 in St. Francis County, just south of Madison.

At Jeanette Crippen’s home, a 4-year-old cries, wondering where his dad is.

His grandmother had to explain he’s not coming home.

“You can cry if you want to, OK,” Crippen said to him.

Crippen believes her son Willie James Wilson, Jr., who she calls ‘Chief,’ was murdered.

“I just don’t understand why. What was the purpose? What was the motive?” she asked.

His friend Diamondnique Lacy says he was at her home last night when he got a phone call.

“He was just in a rush to get his stuff to go outside and that was it,” she said.

It was the last time anyone saw him.

Family members say the car he was driving was found on a bridge in rural St. Francis County.

The burn marks are still on the bridge where the car was torched.

Investigators say there was a body inside the burnt car, but won’t confirm it was Wilson until an autopsy is performed.

Family members are pretty sure it’s him.

“He (the investigator) said, ‘We did find an ‘06 Impala burnt with a body in it.’ He said, ‘We found a cross,’” Crippen said. “He always wears a gold cross, and that was the only thing they could identify.”

The family remembers Chief for his big smile.

“When he walked in the room, it lit up,” his mom said. “He’s a friendly person, everybody loves him. When you see him, he’s smiling all the time.”

Now his mother pleads for the violence to stop so no one else has to feel her family’s pain.