HOLMES COUNTY, Miss. (WLBT) - According to investigators, robbery was the motive in the murder of a Holmes County man whose burned body was found Sunday.
But authorities said the accused only got $6.00 from Jimmy Sanders who family members reported that he left his home to help someone with car trouble.
It was on a rural logging road where friends discovered Sanders' Ford truck and his badly burned body.
"We said we're gonna go look down every driveway, every log road that we can find," said Betty Sanders, victim's wife.
The Holmes Co. resident grew anxious when she said her husband did not return from helping Erik Ellis, 28, and Malcolm Melton, 22, with car trouble.
"He didn't answer his phone. I called about eight or nine times. About an hour after he wouldn't answer I got really really nervous and upset," Betty Sanders said.
"Another gentleman in the community found his vehicle when it was burned off Emory Road, and it appeared that a body was inside," Holmes County Sheriff Willie March said.
According to the sheriff, autopsy results indicate Sanders was shot once in the torso.
The bullet entered his left side.
The torched truck set the surrounding woods on fire.
The blaze was still burning until late Monday afternoon, nearly 24 hours later.
Sheriff March has charged Ellis and Melton, both of West, with kidnapping and murder.
Sheriff March believes that after Sanders left his Race Track Road home he was killed in woods just across the county line in nearby Carroll Co. and driven down a logging trail off Emory Road.
March said two hunters reported seeing two black males standing outside Sanders' white 2007 Ford F-150 with their hands in their pockets.
The hunters told investigators they later heard three shots and rode back to the area on their four wheelers to see two black men driving the truck and no sign of Sanders.
The sheriff said the 65 year old was possibly inside truck's cab when Ellis and Melton drove it back to the logging trail about five miles from Sander's home.
"The Lord has helped us through this. He's still in charge," said Sanders.
The couple is from Jackson and moved to Holmes Co. 16 years ago.
They enjoyed safe peaceful country living until this tragic event.
Although the family is certain that the body is that of Jimmy Sanders, because there are no dental records his son had to submit a DNA sample to the State Crime Lab for official identification.
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