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A year later, murder case still ‘frustrating’

On June 13, 2009, 58-year-old East Lincoln resident MikeDeLaughter was shot dead in a field where he was cutting hay inBogue Chitto.

Now, a year later, authorities are still searching for hiskiller.

“This is one of our most frustrating cases,” said Sheriff SteveRushing. “It’s still an open investigation and we’re still tryingto develop and run down leads.”

DeLaughter’s body was found on some property on Bogue Chitto Roadwhen the landowner went to check his progress.

His truck was first believed missing, but a day later,investigators found it hidden in some trees across a large clearingwhich was a good distance from the original crime scene. This ledthem to believe the truck had been moved after DeLaughter waskilled.

The Mississippi Crime Lab sent a team down the day after DeLaughterwas found to fingerprint and process the truck for any otherevidence that might have been left. DNA and fingerprints were foundin the truck, and that has been part of the mystery, Rushingsaid.

There was at least one apparently strong suspect at the time of thecrime, but the crime lab’s findings pointed away from him.

“None of the stuff we sent off tied any of the suspects we had atthe time to the scene of the crime,” said Rushing. “That’s why wecontinue to develop leads and sources of information.”

And it hardly seems like a year has passed, Rushing said, as thecase has never been far from his mind.

“We’ve by no means let it drop, and it’s been a stressful andfrustrating case for us,” he said. “We really want to clear it forthe family’s sake.”

As such, he said, he’s asking the public not to forgeteither.

“We’d love for anyone that still hears anything to call us andwe’ll run it down,” he said. “So far, it seems like nothing’sreally worked out for us.”

Rushing said anyone who may have knowledge of the murder is askedto call the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Department at 601-833-5231 orLincoln County Crimestoppers at 601-823-0150.