BENTON COUNTY, Miss. – Instead of celebrating America’s birth, a family in Benton County is mourning the death of a loved one.
“You shouldn't take something you can't give back,” said Betty Thomas, the victim’s cousin.
Someone brutally killed Derrick Sanders and dumped his naked body off Highway 7 in the small town of Lamar. The details of his death are gruesome.
“His throat was split. He has a wide cut by the neck. He was shot several times. They cut his ear off. They beat him badly,” said Sanders’ sister, Latora Cotton.
Feet away from where Sanders’ family found his body, they also saw his clothing scattered across their front yard.
“It's nothing I want to see again in my life. I never want to see that again. That was horrifying. That was absolutely devastating,” said the victim’s cousin, Wyhem Patterson.
What's really puzzling for the family is the time frame that all this happened. Early Friday morning, Sanders was actually with his family kicking off the holiday weekend. Two hours later, his body was found.
Sanders spent the last couple weeks planning a huge holiday get-together for everyone at his home, but now his family planning his funeral and hoping whoever killed him is caught soon.
“No one deserves that, no one. They treated him like he was nothing,” said Cotton.
The Mississippi Bureau of Investigation is helping out the Benton County Sheriff’s Department with this investigation. So far, they’ve made no arrests.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Benton County Sheriff’s Office at 662-224-8941.