A 38-year-old Rankin County man is now charged in the death of a Pelahatchie woman who had been missing since April first. Sheriff Bryan Bailey says Willie Washington, Junior is charged with murdering 55-year-old Teresa Jean Beal. Her body was found in a shallow grave behind a trailer at 913 Andrew Chapel Road, which is between Brandon and Pelahatchie.
Sheriff Bailey credits his investigators with just good police work in discovering the party trailer in rural Rankin County. Then, after finding it, officers happened to see a trail leading down into the woods where the body of Teresa Beal was found.
This all came after officers had found the woman's burned out Cadillac on Gulde Road, near Highway 80, which is not far away.
The sheriff says the suspect is cooperating in the case, but he won't say if drugs are involved.
"He did make a confession, so we are confident he was the only one involved in it" said Sheriff Bailey. "I would say it was more of a domestic type situation. It was an argument that escalated into violence>"
The sheriff said he couldn't say if the argument was over drugs, adding that it was an argument that escalated."
Pelahatchie Police Chief Glenda Shoemaker called Sheriff Bailey into the case after the woman was reported missing April first.
Chief Shoemaker knows the family.
"Yesterday was her daughter's 17th birthday" said Chief Shoemaker.
"I have been knowing the child ever since she was brought into this world."
The trailer on Andrew Chapel Road belongs to the suspect.
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