Jefferson Davis County Sheriff: Five murders within three months

Jefferson Davis County Sheriff: Five murders within three months
(Source: WDAM Staff)
Source: Facebook (Edna Brister)
Source: Facebook (Edna Brister)
Source: Family members (Ashley Oatis)
Source: Family members (Ashley Oatis)

JEFFERSON DAVIS COUNTY, MS (WDAM) - Five people have been murdered in Jefferson Davis County since December.

Sheriff Ron Strickland said the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation is assisting with all five murder investigations.

Deputy Coroner, Kathy Stephens, confirmed Saturday, Dec. 16, two men drove up to a home on White Rogers Road where they were gunned down.

The victims are identified as Patrick Hartzog, 21, and Stephen Abram, 21, both of Jefferson Davis County.

Authorities said less than two weeks later, they found Reginald Hartzog, 47, burned in a home on Hartzog Magee Road.

Stephens said results from all three autopsies are pending.

Meanwhile, Strickland said a preliminary autopsy confirmed Edna Brister died from three gunshot wounds.

Brister was found dead outside her burned home Feb. 12th. The State Fire Marshal's Office is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person who started the fire.

Just two days later, Jefferson Davis County authorities found 25-year-old Ashley Oatis shot to death after a drive-by shooting on Valentine's Day. The incident happened on Zion Hill Church Road. Authorities took a person of interest into custody and released him following an interview.

                                Woman killed in Jefferson Davis Co. shooting was mother of 2 

A family member of Brister did not want to go on camera, but said she hopes for closure for the family and community.

"People are scared to leave their houses. There have been too many murders and no answers," the family member said.

"We are working day in and day out, and these are all ongoing investigations," Strickland said.

If you have any information that could help solve these crimes, please call the Jefferson Davis County Sheriff's department at 601-792-5169.