Burned body, car found

Published 5:00 am Wednesday, June 19, 2002

Information remains sketchy today as law enforcement officialswork to unravel the mystery of a badly burned body found inside aburned car on South Washington Street Tuesday morning.

The unidentified body was pronounced dead at 12:30 p.m. Tuesday,according to Coroner Clay McMorris. An autopsy by state medicalexaminer Dr. Steven Hayne of Mississippi Mortuary was scheduled forTuesday night.

“Everything is still under investigation as far as the coroner’soffice,” McMorris said.

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Sheriff Lynn Boyte said authorities believe they know theidentity of the body, but he did not want to release any namesuntil that information could be verified by the autopsy.

“We’re 99 percent sure we know who it is, but there is always adoubt until it’s verified,” Boyte said. “There is enough evidencewith DNA that we expect to be able to identify the body.”

The Rev. Jerry Durr’s family is hoping for that to be soon andis praying for the best. The 1991 Toyota found on fire on SouthWashington Street around 6:30 a.m. Tuesday was registered to hisson, Marvin Durr.

Marvin Durr graduated this year from Brookhaven High School andwas a cart pusher at Wal-Mart Supercenter, a relative said.

Adding to the worry, the Rev. Durr said, is that Marvin did notreturn home Monday night.

Durr said he thought his son had come home late Monday night.When he got the call from the sheriff’s office early Tuesdaymorning, he discovered Marvin had not come home.

“We’re praying it’s not him,” said Durr at the scene lateTuesday morning. “There’s not much else we can do.”

Agents of the Mississippi Highway Patrol crash investigationunit, the state crime lab and the state fire marshal’s office wereat the scene Tuesday to help in the investigation.

At this point not much is known, Boyte said, but investigatorshave a lot of leads to follow. He praised the community for itsinvolvement in the investigation and said his department isreceiving a lot of useful information from citizens.

Two different sources in the community reported hearing anargument or gunshots, Boyte said. He did not speculate on apossible connection to the burned car.

Marvin Durr’s car was found about a quarter mile outside thecity limits. When deputies arrived, they determined there was abody inside.

As the investigation progressed, a large portion of SouthWashington Street was closed off to keep the crime scene clean. Thesealed-off area actually enclosed two crime scenes, according to anofficer who preferred to remain anonymous.

The primary scene consisted of the car and body, he said, whilethe secondary crime scene consisted of some clothes found besidethe street an undisclosed distance from the primary scene. Theofficer would not say how the two were related.

“At this point we’re checking everything,” he said.

The sheriff said items found at the scene included a cellulartelephone and clothes with some blood on them.

Boyte asked that anyone who may have information callCrimestoppers at 823-0150. Any information received is keptconfidential and the caller may be entitled to a monetaryreward.