Found Deceased MS - Samantha McCowan, 32, crashed car into power pole & walked away, phone in car, last seen MS 184 & US 84 east, Jones County, 7 Jun 2024

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JCSD said Samantha Elisabeth McCowan, 32, was involved in a motor vehicle crash around 1 a.m. Friday on Victory Road near Mississippi 184 in the Powers community.

She has not been heard from since after being seen walking away from the scene.

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A JCSD update said that department investigators and deputies, Jones County Search and Rescue Team members and Jones County Emergency Management Agency personnel had continued ground search operations into Friday evening.

The department’s update also said a search drone had been deployed over the search area.

JCSD said McCowan was last seen in the vicinity of Mississippi 184 and U.S. 84 east in Friday’s early hours.

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The department said that McCowan’s cell phone had been found in her crashed vehicle and she was not believed to have any means of electronic communication when she left the crash scene on foot.

McCowan was described by JCSD as a white female, about 5 feet, 6 inches tall, weighing about 160 pounds with light-brown hair.

JCSD said McCowan sports a tattoo on her right leg from her hip to her knee, a tattoo of a dragon on her left hip and a tattoo on the back of her neck.

She was last seen seen on security camera video near the crash site wearing a lime green shirt, black and white shorts, and a hoodie of unknown color.

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A dedicated search on the ground and and through the air with spy-in-the-sky drones has yet to turn up a lead on the location of a Jones County woman who walked away from an early Friday morning crash.

The Jones County Sheriff’s Department said Sunday that its investigators have been canvassing areas of Mississippi, U.S. 84 east, and surrounding roadways in search of information on missing person Samantha Elisabeth McCowan.
 
Body found in same area where Samantha had crashed on Friday, 6/7.

June 10, 2024

JONES COUNTY, Miss. (WHLT) – Jones County deputies are investigating after a body was discovered in the Powers community.

Jones County Sheriff Joe Berlin said the body was discovered in the 1600 block of Highway 184 on Monday, June 10. Residents said the body was found inside a vehicle.

The sheriff said this may be linked to the woman who disappeared after a crash on Friday, June 7.

 

To Note:
Investigators and other personnel from the Jones County Sheriff’s Department were at Luis Auto Sales, which is set up in a house on Highway 184 in the Powers Community, just down from Eastview Baptist Church, where a command post was set up by Jones County Search and Rescue.

Sheriff Joe Berlin requested that the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation send its Crime Scene Unit to assist with the investigation, which indicates that foul play may be suspected.
 

To Note:
Investigators and other personnel from the Jones County Sheriff’s Department were at Luis Auto Sales, which is set up in a house on Highway 184 in the Powers Community, just down from Eastview Baptist Church, where a command post was set up by Jones County Search and Rescue.

Sheriff Joe Berlin requested that the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation send its Crime Scene Unit to assist with the investigation, which indicates that foul play may be suspected.
I can’t wrap my head around the chain of events that starts with an injured person walking away from a pretty serious car crash, and ends up with that person being found inside the trunk of a car at a used auto lot.

The only possible way I could see that happening is if the trunk of the used car was unlocked/ajar, and she was wandering, dazed and possibly mortally injured (but unaware of it), and if she saw the car’s trunk as a place to temporarily conceal herself until daylight. Would that look like “foul play”? Probably not.

Alternatively, I guess, the crash could’ve resulted from someone intentionally running her off the road, after which that person could’ve come back to the scene of the crash and seen her walking away, and either offered her a ride or forced her into the car before a) she lost consciousness due to injuries sustained in the crash, or b) they did something to end her life, and they just left her body concealed in the vehicle located in the used car dealership. If the second scenario is close to what actually happened, I wonder if the vehicle she was found in was just selected for reasons of convenient disposal or if the vehicle could belong to an involved party (in the crash or her death).
 
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I can’t wrap my head around the chain of events that starts with an injured person walking away from a pretty serious car crash, and ends up with that person being found inside the trunk of a car at a used auto lot.

The only possible way I could see that happening is if the trunk of the used car was unlocked/ajar, and she was wandering, dazed and possibly mortally injured (but unaware of it), and if she saw the car’s trunk as a place to temporarily conceal herself until daylight. Would that look like “foul play”? Probably not.

Alternatively, I guess, the crash could’ve resulted from someone intentionally running her off the road, after which that person could’ve come back to the scene of the crash and seen her walking away, and either offered her a ride or forced her into the car before a) she lost consciousness due to injuries sustained in the crash, or b) they did something to end her life, and they just left her body concealed in the vehicle located in the used car dealership. If the second scenario is close to what actually happened, I wonder if the vehicle she was found in was just selected for reasons of convenient disposal or if the vehicle could belong to an involved party (in the crash or her death).
Disclaimer: for argument's sake I'm assuming that the body was that of Samantha, but obviously we don't know for sure yet. I'm also making conjectures here, again for the sake of considering possible scenarios.

Had a look around with google maps/earth.
Between the site of the accident and where the body was recovered there is a gas station/convenience store, just at the corner of Victory and hwy 84. It would appear it closes at 8pm in a Fri and opens at 7am on Sat, so no use in case she was looking for help. I cannot see cameras or a phone booth on the outside either (with limited view from maps).
There are also a few houses (and businesses and a church) along the way so she could have knocked at some doors for help.
If she did that and found a "bad samaritan" she may have met with foul play and the perp could have simply decided in a hurry to put the body in one of the cars in the used lot next door before daylight. Again from google maps it looks like the cars are all parked on the side of the road with no fence so they would be easily accessible (but I'm not sure if they move them to the back of the lot at night). There are a few devices around the used car lot but I can't make out if they are cameras or just sensor lights ( see pic).
Luis car lot.jpg

The other scenario of her being ran off the road intentionally by someone and then dumped in the car lot is also possible, but why would you dump her there when there are a few wooded areas all around? And if you orchestrate the whole thing wouldn't you plan for the disposal of the body? Unless ofc they didn't mean for her to die.

All MOO and we don't even know who the body is yet anyway.
 
Could she have been intoxicated? Over the limit and panicked when she crashed and for some reason decided to hide in the trunk of the car because she thought she'd be arrested? MOO!
That possibility occurred to me as well due partially to the time of the crash (1 AM). Wouldn't be the first time I've heard of people who were chemically-impaired leaving the scene until their BAC has come down enough that they won't get a DUI/DWI charge.
 
I would use the term "dealership" here very loosely. He is selling used cars from the front yard of an old house. You'll find these here and there around some more rural areas. I'm going to guess that the MBI being called in might mean that they found enough evidence present to think that she didn't put herself in that trunk. But this is just my own opinion. I'm so sad for her children. I believe I saw that she had three.
 
I would use the term "dealership" here very loosely. He is selling used cars from the front yard of an old house. You'll find these here and there around some more rural areas. I'm going to guess that the MBI being called in might mean that they found enough evidence present to think that she didn't put herself in that trunk. But this is just my own opinion. I'm so sad for her children. I believe I saw that she had three.
Agree.
And yet I wonder how she was found. Who opened the trunk and found her? Clearly not the person who put her in there (or her, if she got in the trunk herself). Was it decomp smell? Or was someone considering buying that vehicle?

Aren't trunks usually locked and inaccessible? How did she get in there? Was it a type of vehicle where you could crawl in the trunk from the back seat? Did someone have a key to that vehicle?
 
Agree.
And yet I wonder how she was found. Who opened the trunk and found her? Clearly not the person who put her in there (or her, if she got in the trunk herself). Was it decomp smell? Or was someone considering buying that vehicle?

Aren't trunks usually locked and inaccessible? How did she get in there? Was it a type of vehicle where you could crawl in the trunk from the back seat? Did someone have a key to that vehicle?
Back seats can be pulled down from the inside by pulling a couple of knobs or latches. But of course you'd have to get inside the car first....
 
Agree.
And yet I wonder how she was found. Who opened the trunk and found her? Clearly not the person who put her in there (or her, if she got in the trunk herself). Was it decomp smell? Or was someone considering buying that vehicle?

Aren't trunks usually locked and inaccessible? How did she get in there? Was it a type of vehicle where you could crawl in the trunk from the back seat? Did someone have a key to that vehicle?
I was telling my husband about this new case and the first thing he asked was whether the cars were locked. So I guess if this wasn’t an official car dealer, they could have been unlocked… but if she had a brain injury and managed to get into the car to rest, wouldn’t she have climbed into the front or back seat as opposed to the trunk? So weird.

And if she was not alone at the time of the crash… perhaps someone else was driving and she was severely injured and they panicked and didn’t want a manslaughter case on their record, I can’t imagine someone trying to badly hide a body like this as it would be noticed within a week. I sure do hope they can figure out what happened to this poor woman.
 

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