Bond set for Forrest Co. murder suspect

Bond set for Forrest Co. murder suspect

FORREST COUNTY (WDAM) - A Forrest County murder suspect made her initial appearance in court Tuesday after an incident left a man dead late Friday night.

Melissa Dawn Cruz, 45, was charged with second-degree murder and her bond was set at $150,000.

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 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 is currently housed in the Forrest County Jail.