Family seeking answers after body identified as missing teen in Jefferson Davis Co.

Published: Sep. 18, 2023 at 6:12 PM CDT
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JEFFERSON DAVIS COUNTY, Miss. (WDAM) - Jefferson Davis County is mourning yet another loss.

The family of 14-year-old Hayden Burke is begging for answers from the Jefferson Davis County Sheriff’s Office. This comes after Burke’s body was found this month after he was reported missing on Aug. 3.

“He kind of started rebelling, but as a 14-year-old, you expect that from a lot of teenagers, but you don’t expect them to be shot five times,” said Burke’s aunt, Juanita O’Quinn.

O’Quinn and other family members are hurting after what was first a missing person’s report—is now an active homicide investigation.

“I’m still not wrapping my head around it,” O’Quinn said.

According to the sheriff’s office, Burke’s body was found along Whitesand Church Road on Sept. 6.

Prior to finding his body, Burke’s grandmother and legal guardian reported him missing on Aug. 3. However, the sheriff’s department didn’t release the report to the public until a month after his disappearance.

-(WDAM, Jefferson Davis County Sheriff's Office Facebook)

“This happens so much in Jefferson Davis County and nothing is ever done,” O’Quinn said. “Nothing is ever solved, and my heart goes out to all those families because now I know what they’re going through.”

The family is feeling pain, hurt and even anger.

“They need to do their job,” said Hayden Burke’s brother, Kolby Butler.

Burke leaves behind older and younger siblings, Butler being one.

Butler said he last knew of his brother being with other family members in the area. Once Butler discovered where Hayden Burke was, Butler made sure to visit… not knowing it would be the last time.

“He was mad (at), like, grandma and all that stuff,” Butler said. “We talked about what he’s been doing, then I took him to the store, and I bought him something to drink, and I took him back and told him to stay out of trouble.”

The sheriff’s office originally scheduled a news conference for Monday morning, but it was canceled. The department then denied an interview and refused to release any other information. This comes after making several calls and even paying a visit to the sheriff’s office.

“Somethings got to be done,” O’Quinn said. “I mean the sheriff’s department dropping the ball. There’s some outside source needs to come in and do something because their just not getting the job done.”

According to the family, funeral arrangements are set for Saturday at 2 p.m. in Prentiss.

A GoFundMe account has been created to raise money for Burke’s funeral expenses.

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