Capital Murder Charges Filed - - Jackson, MS

Tylertown 06/11/04

Capital Murder Charges Filed

By Bert Case

Two men and a woman face capital murder charges in the brutal suffocation death of an 85-year-old woman in Walthall County, Mississippi.

Edith Blackwell disappeared from her home, where she ran a dairy farm, last Tuesday and was found stuffed in the trunk of her car in a rural area of Walthall County Wednesday. Despite her age, Edith Blackwell, who would have been 86 in September, took care of 100 head of dairy cattle in rural Walthall County, southeast of Tylertown, producing milk every day. 

Neighbors noticed she was missing last Tuesday when she didn't show up to tend the dairy heifers. Resident nearby saw her drive away following some people in her car. She was found Wednesday afternoon stuffed in the trunk of the car, where it is believed she suffocated.

The people who abducted her started cashing her checks in Bogalousa, Louisiana, some 40 miles away, and got caught. They have connections to Walthall County. Those charged with capital murder in her case are 28-year-old Taquana Bell, her 29-year-old husband Carey Williams, who one worked for the victim, and 21-year-old Laroncus Smith, Williams's nephew. They will be returned to Tylertown Monday.

Blackwell was found in the trunk of her 1991 Lincoln town car about 100 yards down a rural logging road some five or six miles southeast of Tylertown. Her family has been told she died from suffocation and heat stroke.

Walthall County Sheriff Duane Dillon says he has surveillance camera photos of the suspects attempting to cash the victim's checks.

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