Wiggins woman identified as victim in homicide; Suspect now in custody

Zavago Wilson is accused of killing Kayla Cooper, his girlfriend and the mother of his...
Zavago Wilson is accused of killing Kayla Cooper, his girlfriend and the mother of his children, early in the morning on Easter Sunday.(Wiggins Police Department)
Published: Apr. 17, 2022 at 8:22 AM CDT|Updated: Apr. 17, 2022 at 11:43 AM CDT
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WIGGINS, Miss. (WLOX) - A suspect wanted for the murder of a 22-year-old woman in Wiggins is now in custody, said police Sunday at 11:30am.

Zavago Oryan Wilson is accused of killing his girlfriend Kayla Cooper at a home on Harrison Street in the early-morning hours of Easter Sunday. The call came in at 1:11am after Cooper’s body was found by a family member, said Police Chief Jeff Thomas.

Police initially posted about the murder investigation on the department’s Facebook page early Sunday morning, saying Wilson should be considered armed and dangerous. They also asked the public to notify authorities if they knew of his whereabouts.

Cooper’s sister, Tekiyah Cooper, said she’ll miss her sister’s spirit and motherly instinct the most.

“She was a funny, goofy girl. She especially was a great mother. Kayla before kids and after kids were two different people,” said Cooper, Kayla was a stay-at-home  mom so her kids were all that they knew. She made sure they were straight, she kept them on a set schedule, she was there for them through everything,” said Cooper.

Cooper explained that Kayla never gave any warning signs of issues between the she and Wilson.

“I always asked her is there anything going on and she just said there was nothing going on, it was just a normal day for her,” said Cooper.

Cooper’s cousin, Kendall Harritton, said the news broke his family’s spirits during the holiday.

“That’s what threw everyone off in shock. It was a normal day on Easter, everyone is eating and chilling. Then you hear that, no one wants to hear that on Easter. You have to pay attention, be aware, and listen to family members. You have to pick up on stuff like crying that they might try to hide,” said Harritton.

Cooper’s aunt, Paulette Johnson, tears up at the thought of her niece being gone and not being able to have one of their close conversations again.

However, she said keeping the faith and remembering Cooper’s smile is what’s helping her cope.

“We love Kayla and she loved us. We don’t control anything, the father is still in control. The father makes no mistakes. We may not see the purpose now or the reason but there will be a reason. Something good is going to come out of this, we may not know now but we’ll be able to tell later on because it’s his purpose,” said Johnson.

The family invites the public to help with expenses of Cooper’s children along with her funeral costs.

You can access the GoFundMe here.

Anyone with information about the investigation is asked to contact Wiggins Police Department at (601) 928-5444. Anonymous tips can also be made to Mississippi Coast Crime Stoppers online or by calling 877-787-5898.

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