02-07-2010, 04:56 AM #1
AR - Poinsett Co., BlkMale Skull 661UMAR, 16-19, near St Francis River, Aug'01
Doe Case 664UMAR
(This appears to be the relevant Doe Case, although the forensic sketch bears little resemblance)
Jerry Lee Armstrong
Found Remains Could Solve 30-Year Old Cold Case
Desoto County, Mississippi Sheriff's investigators have learned the remains of a Hernando High School football player, missing since 1977, may have been found in Arkansas.
FOX13 first aired the Jerry Lee Armstrong cold case in September. Since then the FBI got involved and the sheriff's deputies say they've received a lot of new information.
Investigators say they're excited about the progress in the case and hope to use DNA to positively identify remains found in Arkansas and bring the family some answers.
Commander Fred Perez with the Desoto County Sheriff's Office says the remains of 18-year old Jerry Lee Armstrong, missing for nearly 32 years, may have been found in Poinsett County, Arkansas.
Perez says, "This case seems to get more interesting every day. We got a call from the medical examiner in Little Rock saying they found remains and the computer indicates it could be a possible match."
Armstrong disappeared from Hernando, Mississippi December 23rd, 1977. That night, he drove to prom at the National Guard Armory in his brother's 1973 white Pontiac Le Mans. It was the last time the Hernando High School football player or the car was seen.
The remains, found in Poinsett County, are believed to be around 30 years old. The Medical Examiner determined they belong to an African American male between 16 and 19 years old.
Poinsett County is about an hour and a half northwest of Hernando.
Perez says, "They haven't been able to find any missing persons this would match up with and proximity to us. How do I say this? It's encouraging."
The remains were found in 2001 in the St. Francis River, by a fisherman. Investigators say they were once buried.
Perez says, "the remains were unearthed because of their proximity to river. They washed up when the river went down, that's why fisherman was able to see something that looked unusual."
Investigators are now collecting DNA from Armstrong's surviving family members in hopes of making a positive ID.
The potential match was discovered just a few weeks ago, because Armstrongs' information was just entered into a national database designed to help identify unknown remains.
Perez says, "I think it's something could have been done years ago but again not a lot of proactive things were done on this case."
Perez feels the case was not investigated properly, but says he and the new sheriff are dedicated to giving it the attention it deserves and hope to bring the Armstrong family closure.
Perez says they hope to have the DNA results back in 6 months and hopes they'll be able to determine a cause of death.
If you have information about the case, call Desoto County Crime Stoppers at
662-429-TIPS (8477). As always you can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a cash reward.
Perez is also interested in a 1986 newspaper article about a car that was excavated on the East side of Desoto County in a an area called Dark Corners.
There was not a picture of the car.
In the article, the writer says investigators asked them to not publish it for a few days because it might "hinder their investigation."
Perez says, "We have nothing in our file that indicates anything about the investigation." He says it's possible it could be the Le Mans Armstrong was driving that night. The LeMans was actually Armstrong's brother's car.
The Armstrong family always thought Jerry Lee was murdered as a result of mistaken identity. They feel whoever killed Jerry Lee was really after his brother, who was dating a white girl at the time.
Perez says newspaper articles from the 1970's show the KKK was active in the area at the time.
He says if the remains turn out to be Armstrong's and if the medical examiner determines foul play was involved, Perez says, "to think it's not racially motivated would be naive."
Last edited by CarlK90245; 04-16-2012 at 10:52 PM. Reason: prefix, title
02-08-2010, 10:48 AM #2
Thanks for posting that story. I can see keeping the photo of the unearthed Le Mans out of the papers for a short while, a few days or weeks maybe, but 24 years later? If it had been published maybe someone would have been willing to talk about seeing a backhoe at the car's burial site in 1977.
I hope that if that same someone is still alive today, that he or she is willing to talk now so justice can be served.
02-08-2010, 11:06 AM #3
That is wonderful news! I really hope that the surviving brother can get some closure.Happy New Years
02-08-2010, 01:20 PM #4
Last edited by CarlK90245; 02-08-2010 at 01:21 PM.
02-09-2010, 09:13 AM #5
My bad, I assumed it was the Le Mans if the newspaper was asked not to publish the photo of the car that was found. I personally doubt that LE would ask the newspaper not to publish the car photo if it was only part of suspected insurance fraud (i.e. bury the car, claim it was stolen) but I could see holding off publishing it immediately if it was part of a missing person/murder investigation. So I think there's a very strong possibility that this was the Le Mans.
If nobody from LE remembers what model of car was unearthed in 1986, Perez should inquire at the newspaper. Many papers keep an archive room of old photos and articles, and even if the photo was never published it may have been saved.
02-09-2010, 02:37 PM #6
If it was related to this case, it seems strange that they would not notify the LE agency in charge of investigating it.
(unless, for example, they suspect that the perp is a high-ranking official in that LE agency.)
07-20-2010, 04:34 PM #7
I spoke with Chris Edwards several weeks ago regarding several cases that I have pending. While I had him on the phone, I asked him about whether this case had ever been resolved. He said that he would look into it.
He responded today that since the CODIS hit in November, they still have not been able to confirm the hit. The Skull is at NCMEC, and the Arkansas crime lab is waiting to get it back, so that they can take another DNA sample.
He will make a follow-up request to get the skull back from NCMEC.
10-27-2010, 04:10 PM #8
I spoke with Chris Edwards again regarding four cases that I had inquiries on (this case being one of them).
On this case, he sais that he doesn't think there was a CODIS hit to Jerry Lee Armstrong on this case after-all. He would have resolved it quickly (and remembered that he had) if there had been a CODIS hit.
Note: The news article didn't actually say CODIS. It said that the hit came from the national database, which I interpreted to mean CODIS. But it might just be that it was a NamUs suggested match.
ETA: It couldn't be a NamUs suggested match. Jerry Lee Armstrong is not in NamUs.
On this case, Chris Edwards says that there was a boy named Stevie Willis whose headless body was found years prior in the same area, and they are thinking that this skull might be his. They are in contact with Stevie Willis' family to get a DNA sample to confirm this.
Last edited by CarlK90245; 10-27-2010 at 04:39 PM.
10-03-2012, 03:25 PM #9
03-12-2015, 03:22 PM #10
02-26-2016, 02:44 PM #11
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