MS MS - Shondra May, 17, Forest, 4 Feb 1986

Discussion in 'Cold Cases' started by anneoakley63, Jul 9, 2005.

  1. dreamweaver

    dreamweaver New Member

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    I was finally able to read over the archived newspaper articles that jokie7348 sent me.
    Let me say that the police have been diligent in trying to find the murderer of Shondra for all these years.
    Here is what I gleaned from the first reading.
    Shondra was found naked and I hate to use the term they used, but it is what happened. She was 'hog tied.'
    Two autopsies done.
    But the second was done, it says, on a US Forest Service Rd.
    First autopsy, no cause of death found. Second autopsy, cause of
    death was strangulation.
    There was no mention of sexual assault.
    First questions:
    How much forensic evidence was saved from the two autopsies?
    Would there be any value to a third autopsy all these years later?
    Was there any dna left to save after Shondra was in the water for that length of time?
    Was Shondra sexually assaulted? I am presuming yes.
    Any forensic value to how the knots were tied?

    Shondra was abducted 75 yds from her home. The car door was ajar. And only her driver's license was missing.
    One theory was that a 'blue light' car... someone pretending to be a police officer pulled her over. That would explain the driver's license not there.
    Second questions:
    Was her car stored? With the police or by the parents?
    Is there a possibility of current forensic evidence being used on
    the car?

    There have been at least 3 suspects over the years.
    Two of them seemed to be real possibilities. One passed a lie detector test.
    A woman witness reported a similar incident, but then recanted and left town, moved to Texas.
    Third questions:
    Was her boy friend investigated and cleared?
    Do the police know where the woman witness is now?
    Are the two suspects still living?

    I really think these articles should be posted and have asked one of the mods if we can do that.

    More later.
     


  2. jokie7348

    jokie7348 Member

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    Thank you, Dreamweaver, for the articles summaries.
    I will try to answer your questions, as far as I know:
    Her body was in black plastic garbage bags, so I would guess there was some forensic evidence. I also remember that there was evidence of sexual assault. There was some speculation that her body had been kept in a refrigerated truck for a period of time. I believe she still had jewelry on.
    I think this information might be in the Clarion Ledger (Jackson, MS) archives but I will have to wait until the next time I am in Jackson to look. The Eudora Welty Library has all the CL archives, but doesn't offer a paid online site. I will have to look through the microfilm unless there is someone who lives in MS in Jackson or close who could have a look. The information I sent you was from the Scott County Times from a paid site.
    All of the forensics will probably be in Hinds County or Scott County. I have no idea how to get these. Do you know? I will pay for any information if you can tell me how to get it.Boyfriend, uncle, and father were investigated and cleared. I don't know about the other suspects. Shondra's mother, Genell May, has died but I think her father is still alive. I have looked on the SS death index, but I did not find Mrs. May or Shondra listed there.
    I will do all I can to get all the material that is out there if you or other sleuthers will give me directions how to go about it.
    Again, thanks so much for your help. I really respect your sleuthing abilities.
     
  3. anneoakley63

    anneoakley63 Member

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    Ya'll are awesome! Great work on finding more info! I would love to see this case solved. There was a lot of speculation on this case regarding her father, but nothing was ever confirmed. The one who took and passed the lie detector test is very capable of something like this. But beause he DID pass the test, they no longer looked at him. I continue to look for information and answers. If I find anything I will post it. Thank you all for the work you are doing. Maybe something will catch the attention of the authorities and they will be able to give her the peace she so deserves.
     
  4. anneoakley63

    anneoakley63 Member

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    If memory serves me correctly, I believe there was mention of her being kept in a van of some type and I think she was found floating in a creek by a couple of hunters. Jokie please correct me if I'm wrong.
     
  5. dreamweaver

    dreamweaver New Member

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    I want to check on something, and will post as soon as I can.
     
  6. anneoakley63

    anneoakley63 Member

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  7. Jenni979

    Jenni979 Active Member

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    I joined WebSleuths so that I could post on this topic... I read that one of the possible suspects may have gone to Texas...

    Well, in 1989 a friend of mine (Amanda Goodman) was murdered in Brownwood, Texas. She was taken on her way home from school... She was 14 years old and the same day, her body was found on the banks of a local creek.

    These 2 cases may not have anything to do with one another, but there was just something about Shondra's case that made me think of Amanda.

    Amanda's case has, pretty much, gone cold. The Texas Rangers took over her case 2-3 years ago and promised to do more testing, but nothing has come of it, thus far.
     
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  8. trmay626

    trmay626 Member

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    There were rumors of a van but nothing was ever proven about a van. Her body was found in a creek in Bolton MS (between Vicksburg and Jackson) about 80 miles from her house. She was found in the creek close to a bridge on Champion Hill Road by a single man not a couple of hunters because we paid him a $5000.00 reward for finding Shondra. See, I have a special connection to this case, Shondra is my sister.
     
  9. trmay626

    trmay626 Member

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    The date of Shondra's abduction was 2/4/1986 and her body was found on 2/26/1986 (her 18th birthday) but the authorities could never give us an acutal date of death (they said it was because of her being in the water) so to this very day the date of death on her grave marker is blank. The authorities think she had been in the water for sometime between 3 to 5 days and they say she was dead when she was put in the creek.
     
  10. trmay626

    trmay626 Member

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    Jokie I beleive the forensics should still in Hinds county at the MHP Headquarters except for the jewlery that she was wearing when she was found was eventually turned back over to us and we still have it. The car was also turned back over to us but we no longer own it. Much of the forensic evidence was destroyed on scene because of the improper way the body was handled and shipped from the crime scene. There was a cold case investigator that had been assigned to the case from MHP but his name escapse me just now. (I will call my Dad and get the investigators name if you would like it).
    My mother (Genell May) died on 2/14/94. My dad (Richard May) is still alive.
    The former sheriff of Scott County is William Richardson and the current sheriff is Mike Lee. William would probably know more about the case as he worked on it directly after replacing the corrupt sheriff.
    The editor of the Scott County Times (the local newspaper) at the time of Shondra's abduction was Sid Salter. He is now with the Clarion Ledger and if you contact him he may be able to help you with files from that paper.
     
  11. trmay626

    trmay626 Member

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    Jokie You were school counselor at LA when Shondra was killed? I should know you. Are the initials J.B.?
     
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  12. nola

    nola Active Member

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    Wow! I have searched for years on and off for an update on this case... I lived in MS when this happened. I thought that someone was arrested for the crime. I thought that he had confessed?...what I recall was that there was a young man that had an arrest record of using a blue light on his dashboard to pull young girls over at night along I-20 between Jackson and Meridian. Since this MO matched what was known about SM's car (wallet out, door open, car pulled to the side of the road) he was eventually (my recall was that it took several years for this guy to be considered) questioned in Shondra's murder. I can't recall his name and I moved out of state soon after. But have always wondered if he was brought to trial and the outcome. I guess the evidence eliminated this guy back then? Or is this the guy that the family thinks really did the crime?

    It's been a long time -- I would love to see this family have justice!
     
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  13. nola

    nola Active Member

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    Mr May,
    Your sister's murder has haunted me for years. I had thought that a suspect was charged, but never saw anything more over the years about the case. I am so sorry for your family's loss. You are very kind to share your insight with this forum.

    I was in Sebastopol, MS back in 1989 or 1990 around Valentines Day when I first learned about Shondra. The staff at Stephen's Florist shared with me the details about her disappearance and murder -- the staff was very upset that day because they had received a phone call (a wired order) for flowers for your sister. Do you recall this incident? The staff was pretty shaken up and had called the then sheriff's office to report it. I had wondered over the years if this call had ever been traced and if the lead had gone anywhere?

    Your sister's case has been in my thoughts so many times over the years --I so hope that this monster will be caught. It is extremely disappointing to learn that the crime scene evidence was not ample. I had been told that duct tape was used during the crime and left on her body. I had always hoped that finger prints or DNA would be captured in the adhesive.
     
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  14. trmay626

    trmay626 Member

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    nola,
    I know the people at Stephen's Florist but I do not remember the flower incident. I will check into it when I get back home.

    It is not know to the general public but several months after the murder we received a phone call in the early moring hours from a male individual who was apologizing for murdering Shondra. We were never able to trace the call or locate the person who called.

    It is unknown where there was ample evidence at the crime scene or not. This is because the crime scene and evidence was mishandled. Protocol required that the body should have been wrapped in a clean cloth and placed in a disaster bag and shipped to the state crime lab for autopsy intact and in condition found. It was not done in this manner. The tape that bound the body was cut on scene (the tape was strapping tape not duct tape) and the body was cleaned up on scene before being shipped to the state crime lab for autopsy. We may not have gained any more evidence, but we will also never know if evidence was unintentionally destroyed with the "cleaning" of the body. It's not that the family thinks anyone was trying to destroy evidence. It was just that so many people were at the scene trying to help that didn't know how it needed to be handled.
     
  15. nola

    nola Active Member

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    I pray that this killer is serving time somewhere, for something, and is off the streets. For so many years - I had thought that a person of interest had been charged - I am so disappointed that is not the case.
    When my family moved from MS in 1998, I had been under the impression that a man who had been arrested for using a blue light and impersonating an officer by making traffic stops on female drivers on or near I-20 was a prime suspect in Shondra's abduction and murder. Was this person cleared, or is it that the evidence is inconclusive? His MO seemed to fit with the facts.

    I assume that LE must have explored the stalker theory. What I know about the case may be tainted by third party versions of events or from my poor recall. But if I do remember correctly, the abduction occurred on a rural road well away from busy traffic, but within a short distance to the family home. It was not a likely place for a random crime of opportunity, right? And Shondra wouldn't have stopped her car without good reason. She must have felt safe and justified to do so. ?! Could there have been a slight fender bender --someone hit her car from behind or stopped short and cause her to bump their vehicle?
    Any paint transfer on her car? Even a slight ding that could have left trace evidence could be a big break.
    Shondra had left work (McDonald's in Forest) just prior to being abducted. Were the employees questioned about any hanger ons lurking in the restaurant or parking lot that night or any night previous to this night? Anyone that was out of place?
    Had she stopped for gas along her route home - could someone have targeted her and followed her from a more populated area?
    There are certain cases that will stay with a person until solved...this is one of those for me. Is there any hope that LE has this case as an active file? I think it needs more attention- this person has more than likely committed a similar crime elsewhere. Getting LE agencies to compare MOs could improve the chances of solving this.
    My prayers are with you and your family. Thank you again for commenting.
     
  16. summer_breeze

    summer_breeze New Member

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    Moving this thread to the Cold Case forum for everyone!
     
  17. anneoakley63

    anneoakley63 Member

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    Mr. May,

    Thank you for coming here and updating us on this case. Your family has been in my thoughts for many years. I met Shondra when she visited the same church I attended. I keep hoping this case will be reopened and something will be found that will provide clues to the person responsible for this crime.
     
  18. ms_writer

    ms_writer Member

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    Wow, I grew up very close to Bolton (in the nearby city of Clinton), and am extremely familiar with the area in which Shondra's remains were located -- yet I've never heard of this case. I was only 8 years old at the time, so I guess that's why.

    The first thing that comes to mind for me is the Baker Creek/Champion Hill Road location. I feel like the killer must have been familiar with this area, because it's well off the beaten path from Hwy 80 and I-20 (the most direct routes from the Forest area). The reason I know about the area is because the fields around there were a frequent spot for us to go in high school to "stargaze" and get up to mischief. I guess the isolation we sought is the same isolation relied upon by this murderer; a scary thought. This place is incredibly rural, very dark at night, the houses are few, businesses are nonexistant. It's mostly just farmland, and not where someone unfamiliar with the area would likely find.

    So . . . who in the Forest area also had working knowlege of rural western Hinds county? Someone with ties to agriculture there, or the petroleum industry (there are many oil wells/lines around there). Someone who had family/friends in the area, a hunting lease, or even someone who used to live nearby. Are there any POI who fit into these categories? Again, I truly feel the location of her remains was not a spot that was randomly stumbled upon by a perp who got in the car and headed west.

    Another thought: This area is only the tiniest stone's throw away from the locations where three women's bodies were left by a serial killer in 1999. LE believes the killer is Ricky Franklin, and they think he's responsible for at least ten murders, but they do not have enough evidence to try him. I think Franklin is too young to have been responsible for Shondra's death, and she doesn't remotely fit his victim profile. However, if it's mere coincidence, it's an unsettling one.

    trmay, I'm so sorry for your loss. I hope for you and your family to one day get closure.
     
  19. jokie7348

    jokie7348 Member

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    I am so glad to see that there is still interest in this case. After living in Florida for several years, I will be moving back to Mississippi in the fall. My plans are to begin checking out all the information I can find in an effort to generate interest in solving Shondra's murder.
    T.. , I taught you, as well as Shondra and C , English. Then after JB retired I was the counselor in my first year, 1986, when Shondra was abducted. I sent you a PM with my identity. My love for all of you has continued through the years. All of you were such bright, shining examples of the future. It hurts me so much to know that you and your family have endured this pain for all these years. Additionally, I am so saddened by Donna's death. Please give C my sincere sympathy and know that all of you are in my prayers and thoughts daily.
     
  20. jokie7348

    jokie7348 Member

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    Checking in to see if anyone has posted. No, so I reread all of this thread once again. It feels like just yesterday that this happened. I never forget it, not even for one day. So I'm just giving a bump for Shondra today and hoping that something will break open for her case.
    TRMay, I am also hoping to hear from you.
    Justice for Shondra.
     
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