[EDITOR'S NOTE: This story's author is a resident of the Carolina Community and is an acquaintance of both the victim and suspect in this case.]
A Carolina Community resident has been charged with capital murder.
Mitchell Shumpert, 25, was formally charged, Thursday morning, with the death of 26-year-old Dylan Cayson after law enforcement officials recovered Cayson’s body in a well at the property where Shumpert lived.
During a Thursday morning press conference, Itawamba County Sheriff Chris Dickinson said local investigators became involved in the case after being notified of a missing person by Lee County Sheriff’s Department. The investigation led them to a home at 215 Ritter Road in southwestern Itawamba County, where Cayson’s body was discovered in a nearby hand-dug well approximately 33 feet deep.
Dickinson said Cayson is believed to have been staying on Shumpert’s property. The two were acquaintances.
Cayson is believed to have been shot. Dickinson said investigators are awaiting ballistics results on the weapon believed to have been used to kill Cayson.
Dickinson said the “underlying crime” that lead to Shumpert’s capital murder charge was theft.
Shumpert was taken into custody late Wednesday after members of Tupelo Search and Rescue team pulled the body from the well. According to Dickinson, Cayson’s body was covered in debris and water roughly 6 feet deep. Although the definite time of Cayson’s death has yet to be established, Dickinson said he is believed to have been killed on the property sometime Sunday.
The sheriff said the well house roof had to be removed in order for rescuers to lower equipment into the well. The process began at 1:30 p.m., Wednesday; the body was recovered at approximately 4:30 p.m.
Dickinson said the case is still under investigation.
“We have three investigators working on this case,” Dickinson said. “It’s a step-by-step process, and this case has a lot of moving parts. We are fortunate to have ample evidence to work with.”
Shumpert is set to make his initial court appearance Thursday afternoon. Dickinson said investigators will request the judge deny his bond.
The body of a possible homicide victim has been found in a well in the Carolina Community.
Itawamba County Sheriff Chris Dickinson confirmed late Wednesday afternoon the body of an unnamed male was recovered from a well at a home on Ritter Road in southwest Itawamba County. Law enforcement officials are withholding the identify of the victim until they can notify family.
The body of the victim is in the custody of Itawamba County Coroner Sheila Summerford. It will be sent to Jackson for autopsy.
Dickinson said the death is being treated as murder and confirmed that his investigators have taken a person of interest into custody. That person’s name has not been released, and no arrests have been made as of 6 p.m. Monday night.