Body of Holmes Co. man found burned inside his truck - - Jackson, MS

Body of Holmes Co. man found burned inside his truck

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Roslyn Anderson - bio | email

HOLMES COUNTY, Miss. (WLBT) – A Holmes County man who left to help someone with car trouble Sunday never returned to his rural home near West.

Family and friends, along with law enforcement, began a search that ended with a gruesome discovery.

Late Monday afternoon, the woods along Emory Road in Holmes County were still burning not far from where Jimmy Sanders' 2007 F-150 was found torched.

"The truck was in a sand pit. It was there when we drove up, but we didn't know it so we searched elsewhere," Betty Sanders said.

The wife of 35 years said her husband left their race track road home around 1:30 Sunday afternoon to help someone whose car stopped nearby.

Erik Jermaine Ellis, 28, and Malcolm Jamal Melton, 22, both of West, are being held in connection with Sanders' death.

"Malcom's the one that walked up the driveway and we're thinking that they both got in the truck with him, but we found out last night after one of them talked that he had shot my husband and killed him," Betty Sanders said.

Holmes County authorities said Sanders' body was found inside his truck lying to the right of the driver's side burned beyond recognition.

"When they set the truck, the woods also caught on fire. Another gentleman came by that saw them at the crime scene, right out from the crime scene. He could identify the gentlemen inside the truck," Holmes County Sheriff Willie March said.

The sheriff said Ellis has prior convictions for burglary and aggravated assault, while a charge stemming from a shaken baby death was dismissed.

Melton has a prior burglary charge and was out on bond when he was arrested in connection with the 65 year old's death.

The shocked widow said relatives also saw Ellis putting gas into an older model brown Caprice.

"My husband went to the door, and he said 'I know that man'. He said 'He's probably broken down, and I'm going to help him'," said Betty Sanders.

An autopsy was completed at the State Crime Lab; meanwhile, the family is awaiting the official findings and actual cause of death.

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