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November 9, 2012

Suspect arrested in Annette Wyatt slaying

Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Department

Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff Department investigators on Thursday arrested a suspect in the Sept. 15 murder of Annette Wyatt.

Meg Lancaster, 30, of 15 Beauregard Circle in Oxford, was taken into custody shortly after 11 a.m., according to the Yoknapatawpha County Jail docket. A bond hearing hadn't yet been set.

"All I can say at this point is that we have arrested Miss Lancaster and will be formally charging her in connection with the murder of Miss Wyatt," said department spokeswoman Elizabeth Jones at a brief press conference Friday afternoon.

It's unclear when those charges will be filed. No attorney for Lancaster was listed as of late Friday.

Lancaster is employed as a receptionist at the Harte Agency, where Wyatt had worked until her death. Wyatt's body was found in the agency's University Avenue office by another colleague the morning of Sept. 16.

The coroner's office later ruled the death a homicide. Wyatt had suffered puncture wounds from a nail gun.

Harte Agency employees declined to talk to the Oxford Eagle after Lancaster's arrest, but other workers in the strip mall shared by the agency said squad cars had swarmed the area for a brief time that morning.

"Three or four police cars came speeding into the parking lot," said Tom Banks, the owner of Sweet Treats candy and chocolate shop, located next to the Harte Agency. "I didn't know what was going on, but then all these deputies busted into the Harte place and I figured it had something to do with that murder."

Banks said a small crowd of onlookers formed in the parking lot and soon the deputies emerged from the Harte Agency with a young woman in handcuffs.

"It was one of the girls that worked there," Banks said. "I think her name was Meg. She came into the shop once a week or so to get treats for her co-workers. Real nice girl. I can't imagine what she had to do with it."

No one answered the door at Lancaster's home. A neighbor, who declined to give her name, said the suspect had lived there for about one year and was always friendly.

By Kemper Jones at 7:30 PM

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