Victim identified, bond set for suspect in Marion Co. death investigation

Jerry Page
Jerry Page

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - A Marion County man is facing a 1 million 45 thousand dollar bond for the murder of 29- year- old Ryan Paul Cooper.

Jerry Page has been charged with murder, arson, aggravated assault on a police officer and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Authorities had been searching for Page since early Monday after he was named as a person of interest in a death investigation.

"We all got together and put a plan together, and then of course we call in for assistance from some other agencies," said Marion County Sheriff Berkley Hall.

The morning started with authorities investigating a body found in a burned vehicle on east reservoir road in Marion County. Hours later, Page was spotted near a Shell Service Station on Highway 35 north.

"When he got out to approach the fellow, just told him he needed to talk with him, the subject stepped behind the building and he heard him jack a bullet in a gun," said Hall.

Due to circumstances at the scene, the investigator chose not to fire his weapon at Page, even after having a gun pointed at him.

"Wanted for questioning in a possible homicide and a man that will pull a gun and threaten an officer with it, he is pretty desperate," said Hall.

After the investigator took cover behind a vehicle, the suspect fled to the woods and a manhunt ensued.

"Lamar County and their K9 tracking dogs, Mississippi Highway Patrol came out in force, also the Columbia police department," said Hall.

Around nine Monday night, Page was taken into custody, with a pistol in his possession near the Expose Road area in the county.