One dead in Forrest County's first murder of the year

One dead in Forrest County's first murder of the year
Melissa Dawn Cruz. Source: Forrest County Sheriff's Department

FORREST COUNTY, MS (WDAM) - One man is dead and a woman has been charged with murder in Forrest County.

The incident occurred late Friday night.

According to investigator Nick Calico of the Forest County Sheriff's department, authorities received a call at around 9:50 p.m. Friday night about a "suspicious person" walking on Old Highway 49. A second call was made later about a man lying in the road bleeding near Old Highway 49.

Deputies found Keith Phillips, 45, dead at the scene.

According to Forrest County Deputy Coroner Lisa Klem, Phillips died of internal injuries, possibly caused by being struck by a vehicle.

When deputies arrived at the scene, they found Melissa Dawn Cruz. Cruz told investigators she "hit someone" with her vehicle. Through further investigation, deputies was determined Cruz, the suspect, intentionally hit Phillips with her vehicle.

Cruz, 45, has been charged with second degree murder in connection to the incident and is currently housed in the Forrest County Jail.