OXFORD WEEKLY PLANET
Tuesday, December 17, 2019
Mailbox mishap leads to murder
Santa flees scene
A simple 911 call reporting a knocked-over mailbox late Monday night eventually led to a gruesome discovery and a homicide investigation.
Pearidge Road resident Bonnie Duncan reported seeing a black Chevrolet SUV back into her neighbor's mailbox before speeding away. She claims the driver was dressed as Santa.
When a Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Department officer attempted to contact someone inside the 107 Pearidge Road residence where the mailbox had been damaged, he received no response.
Concerned for the occupants, YCSD officers conducted a well-being check of the residence and found the body of a young woman lying on the floor. Within minutes, detectives and other investigative personnel were on the scene.
YCSD Public Information Officer Elizabeth Jones said it appears the woman was the victim of foul play, but she declined to specify how the victim was killed.
"We are treating this case as a homicide," Jones told reporters. "We're not prepared to name a suspect at this stage of the investigation, but we are looking into some significant leads."
Neighbors said they had seen a number of vehicles parked at the house earlier that evening, and they believed the homeowner had been hosting a party.
According to Jones, no one else was at the residence when YCSD officers arrived, but she confirmed that indications of a recent party were present inside the residence.
Authorities are not yet releasing the victim's identity, but neighbors say she was the owner of the house where her body was found.
"She was a good neighbor and a great friend," Duncan said. "I just can't believe she was murdered."