Authorities believe body to be missing Clinton woman - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Authorities believe body discovered on hog farm to be missing Clinton woman

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By  Julie Straw - bio | email | twitter

 HINDS COUNTY, MS (WLBT) - Hinds County authorities believe they have found the body of a missing elderly Clinton woman.  A hog farmer was walking his property in Edwards when he made a gruesome discovery around 6:30 Friday night.

"I got this smell and it was an unusual smell.  I hadn't been smelling it," said Charlie Richardson, owner of the hog farm. "I left and went and got the police."

Hinds County Deputies arrived and confirmed it was a badly decomposed body of a female.  Authorities believe it is the body of 81-year-old Ethel Simpson because the clothes match the description of the items she was last seen wearing.

"It is an exact description. Yes, it certainly is," said Clinton Police Chief Don Byington.

Simpson was last seen with 39-year-old James Hutto, a sex offender with a criminal history.  Clinton police gave the following timeline.  Simpson met Hutto at the Baptist Health Plex just before 1:00 p.m. Monday.  Both were seen leaving together in Simpson's Mercedes three hours later.

Soon after she drops him off at the Comfort Inn in Clinton.  A Health Plex employee says Hutton tugged on Simpson's heart strings.

"She said he had not told anybody that he had cancer, had no family.  He just preyed on a big hearted elderly lady," said Jan Cossitt with Baptist Health Plex.

Around 8:30 p.m. Simpson and Hutto entered River Walk Casino in Vicksburg.  Approximately three hours later they left with Hutto driving Simpson's car and her in the passenger seat.

"Some people you just can't trust and you got to know someone very well before you get into a vehicle with them. I wish we could undo all of this, but we can't," said Chief Byington in an interview early Friday.

Hutto was arrested in Alabama while driving Simpson's car Friday.  He is charged with robbing and stabbing a man multiple times in Lee County, Alabama earlier that morning.  Also in that state, a member of Hutto's family was found dead Thursday.

"Birmingham Police are investigating the involvement of Mr. Hutto in the death of a Birmingham woman who is a relative of Mr. Hutto," said Lee County Sheriff Jay Jones.

Investigators from the Clinton Police Department were in Alabama Friday evening interviewing Hutto about the death of Simpson.

Hutto was wanted in Alabama because he failed to register as a sex offender.  He was convicted of abusing a 17-year-old girl and released in 2005 after serving 3 1/2 years in jail.

©2010 WLBT. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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