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INCIDENT / ARREST REPORT
Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Department
711 Jackson Avenue
Oxford, MS 38655
___ Senior Citizen
___ Child Abuse
___ Involved Alcohol
REPORTING OFFICER'S NARRATIVE(Brief narrative of the facts surrounding the offense and the arrest.)
At 9:15 a.m., Dispatch received a 911 call reporting the discovery of a body in an apartment on Hathorn Road. The caller identified herself as Michelle Prescott, the deceased's cousin and roommate.
Unit #304 (Deputy F. Willits) was dispatched to the scene and arrived at 9:22 a.m. At 9:26 a.m., Deputy Willits notified Dispatch that the presence of a body was confirmed and requested backup and medical assistance. Detectives Armstrong and Murphy were assigned and proceeded directly to the scene. Coroner's Inspector Luwinda Johnson and a CSU team were notified to respond to the scene.
Reporting Investigators (R/Is) arrived at the scene at 10:08 a.m. and found Deputy Willits had secured the area and detained an adult female identified as Michelle Prescott (Person 2). Environmental conditions at the scene upon arrival are as follows: Weather: Light rain; Ambient Exterior Temperature: 73º F / 23º C; Relative Exterior Humidity: 100%; Ambient interior temperature approximately 72°F/22°C, Relative Humidity approximately 47%.
Upon R/Is' arrival, Deputy Willits made the following verbal report, which is stated in summary and not verbatim.
Deputy Willits said Michelle Prescott met him at the entrance to the apartment and escorted him to the rear bedroom of the residence where Deputy Willits observed the body of an apparently deceased adult female hanging by the neck from a strap in a closet in the attached bathroom. Ms. Prescott identified the female as her cousin, Kristal Waterson (Person 1).
Upon verification of the presence of the body, Deputy Willits asked Ms. Prescott to return to the living room area of the residence. Deputy Willits then secured the area, finding no other persons in the residence.
At 9:33 a.m., YCFD EMTs R. Peterson and J. Bilkey arrived and after confirming the victim was deceased, withdrew from the crime scene.
Deputy Willits reported that, to the best of his knowledge, the following persons have entered the crime scene area and must be documented by CSU personnel: Michelle Prescott, EMT Peterson, EMT Bilkey, and himself.
After receiving Deputy Willits's verbal report, R/Is instructed him to have Michelle Prescott transported to the sheriff's office for a formal interview.
R/Is then conducted a preliminary inspection of the scene, noting no signs of forced entry. R/Is proceeded through the living and dining area, the rear bedroom, and its attached bathroom to a walk-in closet located in the rear bathroom.
R/Is observed a lifeless human body, a female apparently in her early twenties, hanging from a crossbar in the closet. The body was facing the door of the closet with the feet touching the floor and the knees slightly bent. Visual inspection indicated the victim was wearing a white mock turtleneck sleeveless shirt and navy blue sweatpants. The victim had no shoes or socks on her feet.
The body hung from a light tan, cotton-poly blend belt with green stripes. The belt was cinched around the deceased's neck using the buckle end and tied to the crossbar using a half-hitch knot at the opposite end. The length of the belt between the crossbar and the deceased's neck was eight (8) inches. The crossbar is sixty-four (64) inches above the floor of the closet. The victim is sixty-seven (67) inches tall.
At 10:31 a.m., Coroner's Inspector Johnson arrived at the scene and joined R/Is at the body's location.
Inspector Johnson pronounced the victim deceased at 10:37 a.m. by visual observation that the victim was not breathing and by tactile observation that the victim did not have a palpable carotid pulse.
Inspector Johnson noted the presence of an upward-angled ligature mark on the upper neck of the victim, consistent with the position of the body and the belt around the neck when the victim was found. Visual observation revealed no immediate indications of any other injuries.
Inspector Johnson said liver temperature at the scene was 86.2°F/30.1°C and noted that the deceased's skin was waxy and cool to the touch and that the deceased's eyes were open and the corneas cloudy. Rigor mortis was well-established throughout the body. Inspector Johnson speculated the victim had been dead approximately 12 to 14 hours prior to examination, subject to revision pending a formal autopsy, and indicated that the apparent cause of death was asphyxiation due to ligature strangulation. Inspector Johnson indicated that further details would be available in the official autopsy report.
After Inspector Johnson completed her initial inspection of the body, she stayed with the CSU team to ensure the integrity of the body while the team took photographs of the scene and performed preliminary analyses until the body could be removed from the scene without affecting other evidence.
CSU arrived at the scene at 10:57 a.m. R/Is instructed CSU to collect the phone and process the scene according to standard procedure.
The body of the deceased was removed from the scene at 12:45 p.m. and remanded into the custody of Coroner's Inspector Luwinda Johnson for transport to the coroner's office for autopsy. A preliminary autopsy report is expected within seven days of this report, with detailed findings to follow at a later date.
R/Is left the scene at 12:58 p.m. to interview the witness at the sheriff's office.
Before leaving, R/Is instructed CSU to seal the scene upon completion or end-of-shift suspension of processing. CSU to notify R/Is of their progress by the end of this date. As of this filing, CSU is still actively processing the scene.
Evidence was remanded into the custody of Forensics Officer T. R. Douglas for transport to the state crime lab for routine analysis. CSU is expected to submit an inventory of items taken into evidence within seven days of this report, with detailed report(s) of their findings to follow at a later date.
|REPORTING OFFICER||Sam Murphy||DATE REPORTED||08/27/2023|
|REPORTING OFFICER|| //Sam Murphy
|ASSISTING OFFICER|| //Ted Armstrong