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Murder suspect still on the loose

Copiah County law enforcement authorities were still searching Monday morning for a suspect in the murder of James Robert Smith, 53, of 2072 Perrett Road, Hazlehurst, according to a spokesman with the Copiah County Sheriff’s Department.

CCSO investigator Jerry Spell said that Smith was found dead a little after 4 a.m. Friday with a single gunshot wound to his head.

Spell explained that Smith’s wife arrived home from her job about the same time that the murder happened, and that the suspect shot at the woman’s vehicle, striking the windshield and missing her by inches.  Mrs. Smith then left the scene and dialed 911 while on her way to the Hazlehurst Police Department.  Sheriff’s deputies then arrived at the scene around 4:10 a.m., finding Smith’s body.

Authorities in Lincoln County later found a car matching the license plate and description of one taken from the Smith’s residence submerged in Lake Lincoln Friday morning. Copiah Sheriff Harold Jones said that the car had been recovered and taken back to the Copiah County Sheriff’s Department by noon Friday.

Jones described the suspect as a white male, medium build and approximately 20 to 30 years old.

Anyone with any information related to the crime is urged to call the Copiah County Sheriff’s Department at 601-894-3011 immediately.

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