By Kandiss Crone
Jackson police officers say a body found in a wooded area in north Jackson is that of 20-year-old Latasha Norman. The Jackson State University student went missing November 13.
Her alleged killer is Stanley Cole, 24 -- her ex-boyfriend.
"At this point he's been charged with murder and is expected to make an initial court appearance in municipal court tomorrow (Friday)," said police spokesman Jeffery Scott.
Cole appeared in a Pearl courtroom Thursday for assault charges filed by Norman last month. Jackson police officers took him into custody immediately afterward to question him about Norman's disappearance.
"Statements made by him are considered evidence," said Assistant Chief Lee Vance of the Jackson Police Department. "We won't talk about what he said or didn't say."
Telistha Griffin, who has lived on Brown Street for the past nine years, says her neighborhood is not a high-traffic area. She says she was shocked when officers discovered Norman's body nearby.
"This is a very quiet and nice neighborhood," Griffin said. "I take this route to work every day, and I never thought anything like that would happen here."
Less than 24 hours before the student's body was found, faculty and fellow classmates had gathered for a prayer vigil of hope.
Dr. Ronald Mason, JSU's president, says those prayers of hope must continue for Norman and her family.
"With the closure in knowing what has happened, those prayers will become prayers of hope in a different way," Mason said. "The family needs your prayers, and Latasha needs your prayers too."
Classes at JSU have been canceled Friday in memory of Norman. A memorial service will be held Monday at noon in the Rose Embly McCoy Auditorium on campus.