A Mississippi family suddenly went missing on Friday after a strange phone call to family members saying they were “going out of town”, and now their bodies have turned up in a wooded area after their vehicle was discovered overturned and burned. 30-year old Atira Hughes-Smith, her 7-year-old-son Jaidon Hill, and Hughes-Smith’s husband, 34-year old Laterry Smith, were all found shot to death. Police say they have a suspect in custody, but answers as to why this young family was killed aren’t forthcoming.
Hughes-Smith called a family member to say they were going out of town after a Halloween party on Friday, and the call abruptly ended. On Saturday, the Copiah County Sheriff’s Department received a call about an overturned car on a rural road; an investigation turned up no bodies, but the car had been significantly damaged and had been burned. On Monday, Hughes-Smith’s wallet and other items belonging to the family were found in a dumpster not far from her mother’s house.
Then, in the early hours of Tuesday, police found a cabin not far from the road the car was found on. Inside were the bodies of the family members. Lydell Burns, 42, had led them there.
Burns is in custody as a suspect, but investigators aren’t saying how they found him or what his motives may have been for murder because the case is ongoing. As of right now, he’s charged with arson, but authorities expect more charges to follow.