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Body found in Strong River

Published: Aug. 5, 2009 at 2:05 AM CDT|Updated: Nov. 15, 2011 at 3:36 PM CST
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By Howard Ballou - bio | email

SIMPSON COUNTY, MS (WLBT) - What appears to be a homicide investigation is shaping up in Simpson County.

The body of a Mendenhall man who had been missing over the weekend has been found in the Strong River below a bridge on Everett Church Road.

Local and state law enforcement agencies are investigating, and foul play is suspected.

A host of law enforcement agencies converged on the scene Tuesday. The body of Flynt Willie Lee, 44, was discovered in the water just below the bridge. His brother-in-law, Charles Mack Williams, made the grisly find.

"I went down there, and when I got to the bridge, something told me to get out and look over the bridge," he told WLBT. "I looked over the bridge, and there he was. He was floating. It put butterflies in my stomach. I can't handle too much of that stuff."

A burnt shell is all that's left of Lee's 2005 Chevrolet pickup truck. It was found about 3 and half miles away from where the body was found. Investigators found the pickup truck down a ravine. It was on fire just off Highway 13 south, just past the Strong River bridge.

There were no skid marks on the highway, in an area known as Strong River Flats.

"When they pulled it out, they found what looked like gunshot wounds on the driver's side of the truck," said Sheriff Kenneth Lewis. He indicated they looked like bullet holes.

Lee's daughter, 22-year-old Amanda Wright, says she last saw her father on Friday.

"He went to church Sunday, too, so he was seen Sunday, but nobody seen him yesterday," she says. "Nobody heard a phone call from him yesterday, but phone records says that he was on the phone last night."

Wright says she doesn't know of anyone who would want to harm her father. Other family members say Lee had a drinking problem and was in the process of going through a divorce.

"Right now, it looks kind of suspicious, so it's still under investigation," said the sheriff.

If you have information that can help in this investigation, call the Simpson County Sheriff's Department at (601) 847-2921.