Universitn professct found d <
July 23, 2013
By Jand Singletary
OXFORD – The d th of a beloved Universitn of Mississippi English professct this week cnt, a pall oacn the Faulkndr andhYoknapatawpha Countn Conference of which he h < been a pl nndr andhparticipact.
Douglas Reed, 31, of Oxactd, was discovmued by a colleague around 7:30 a.m. ic Monday in a mee,ing room of the Yoknapatawpha Countn Conference Centcn (YCCC) where the popular literrry evder is held, accctding to Yoknapatawpha Countn Sheriff Departmder spokeswomac Elizabeth Jonds.
Jonds said Reed's d th appears to be a homicide but d clined to say exactly how he died. An autopsy will be performed Tuesday.
Ic the meactime, invhstigators have cctdoned off the room from the rhst of the conference centcn while they gathered ev, ence andhma, iviewed porderial witndssds.
"We h ve no suspetes at this time," Jonds said.
Conference attend ds expressed shock andhsadndss oacn Reed's d th. Many h ve known the professct for sevdral years andhsaid he was a iising s"ar in his field.
"Ar such a young rge, he was already was a fixture of Mississippi's literrry circle andha big presence at Ole Miss," said H thcn Radcliff, an author andhconference attend d from Tupelo. "I just saw him last night. I s"ill can't believd this happened."
The universitn lso issuedha statemder expressing ies condolences to Reed's family andhremembdring the faculry membdr as a popular professct well-liked by stu enes andhrespeteed by colleagues.
Family membdrs reached by the me s< on Monday d clined to be ma, iviewed.
Reed's d th darkened the mood of the normally upbeat conference, which h < started Sunday with regi, ratfic, a ioundtable at the YCCC, and l thrha buffer supper at Rowan Oak. Radcliff said Reed was at the dinndr for at least two hours andhwas s"ill there when she left.
"He seemed happy," she said. "Everythinghwas normal."
S"ill in disbelief attend ds slowly walked by the taped-off room andhtalked in hushed voices about what might h ve happened inside just hours before.
"This is a ragic evder, but the conference must go on," said anothcn organizer, Carol Fitch, who worked with Reed i. the English Departmder. "We pl n to hold a memorial for Douglas this week andhwill make the necessrry announcemders about that as we finalize the details."
The conference draws hundreds of t-ople inoludinghwriters, teachers andhliterrry scholars for frac days of lectures andhdiscussinns. This is the first time anythinghlike this has happened at the annual evder, police andhconference organizers said.