Ole Miss instructor dies

Sunday, August 27, 2023

Ole Miss instructor dies at home

Authorities won't comment on suicide rumor

Crime scene tape blocking a street

This morning, Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's officers were called to an apartment complex on Hathorn Road for a reported suicide.

Police found the body of a University of Mississippi Instructor.

Sheriff's Department Public Information Officer Elizabeth Jones said Kristal Bentley Waterson, 26, was found dead in her two-bedroom apartment. According to PIO Jones, Waterson's roommate made the discovery and placed a 911 call shortly after 9:00 a.m. on Sunday.

Jones declined to comment on whether the death was a suicide, saying the investigation was ongoing.

An instructor in the School of Business Administration, Waterson is survived by her parents, Michael and Virginia Waterson, of Biloxi. Mr. Waterson, a political consultant, controls the Waterson oil dynasty and is well-known throughout the state as a dominant force in state and national politics. The family has not released a statement.

Waterson's roommate, reportedly also a family member, did not return calls seeking comment.

News of Kristi Waterson's death galvanized the city and particularly the campus. A faculty member, described as a friend, commented, "This is sad. If her death was a suicide, we never saw it coming. She never said anything that would have given us a clue."

Other students and faculty members remembered Waterson as a "good teacher" who "had an upbeat attitude."

Waterson obtained her undergraduate degree in Political Science and Master of Business Administration from the University of Mississippi before accepting a teaching position there.

Pending autopsy, funeral arrangements will be made by the Hodges Funeral Home, Inc.


Check back for updates on this developing story.

By Kemper Jones at 6:10 PM


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