PANOLA COUNTY, Miss.– The Panola County Sheriff says DNA evidence may be the key to arresting the person responsible for sending a death threat letter to a county supervisor in August.
John Thomas has been Panola County District 3 Supervisor for 11 years with few complaints until he received the letter at the Panola County Courthouse.
“I got a 16-year-old son and my wife and the letter said that he was gonna kill if we didn’t start grading the roads by September the first he was going to start killing my family, all my family members, and then kill me last,” Thomas said.
Panola County investigators determined the letter was sent by a resident in the private Enid Shores subdivision who was angry that the county had not made road improvements there.
“It does alarm you. You can’t ever tell what’s going to happen in this day and time…with people,” Thomas said.
Investigators took the threat very seriously but needed a DNA sample to link the suspect to the mailed letter.
“We jumped on this fast and got a suspect pretty quick and then we got a warrant for the DNA. We’re just waiting now to get the results back,” said Panola County Sheriff Shane Phelps.
He would not identify the person of interest but Sheriff Phelps said the person who wrote and sent the letter faces felony charges and people who live in Enid Shores believe the matter has cast them in a bad light.
Supervisor Thomas wishes the matter of road repairs had never reached this point…and says his hands are tied when it comes to smoothing out the drive through Enid Shores.
“It’s a private subdivision…it’s been that way since it was started and when they started it they should have deeded the roads to Panola County back in the ’60s or ’70s and they didn’t,” Thomas said.
We were told the threatening letter was postmarked in Memphis and the DNA in being tested by a private lab in Mississippi. Results are expected to come back this week or next at the latest.