JASPER COUNTY, MS (WDAM) - Jasper County Sheriff Randy Johnson said the body of a Tennessee murder suspect was found near the Vossburg exit on Monday morning.
Casey James Lawhorn, 23, was found dead about 100 yards from spot where his car was found abandoned Sunday on Interstate 59. A weapon was recovered and the Jasper County Coroner confirmed the identity of Lawhorn, according to Sheriff Randy Johnson.
Lawhorn is suspected of killing his mother and friend in Tennessee after confessing to the crimes in a Facebook post on Sunday.
Sunday morning, officers with the East Ridge Police Department responded to reports of a double homicide and suicidal suspect. ERPD Assistant Chief Stan Allen said Lawhorn called into dispatch to alert them of the situation. Upon arrival, officers forced entry into a home where they found two people suffering from gunshot wounds to the head.
In the Facebook post, Lawhorn confessed to killing his mother and friend with a .22 caliber gun. The East Ridge Police Department has identified his mother as Vi Lawhorn and the friend as 22-year-old Avery Gaines of Ringold, GA.
Due to the grisly details, we have decided not to share the post in this story. The post, which was shared more than 1,000 times and received hundreds of comments, has since been taken down.
Lawton, who was reportedly driving a gold 2002 Ford Taurus with a Tennessee tag W0327L was believed to be somewhere in Dade County, GA. However, around 5 p.m., Lawhorn posted that his car broke down on Interstate 59 south in Mississippi. His abandoned car was found on the interstate near the Vossburg exit.
"Our department with the Mississippi Highway Patrol responded to the scene," Johnson said. "Jones County came up with armored vehicles and their SWAT Team. Jasper County Civil Defense came out. It took awhile to secure the vehicle to make sure it was unoccupied, and it was."
Traffic was backed up for miles as authorities shut down that area of I-59. The scene wasn't cleared of police activity until after 11 p.m.
Johnson his deputies were in the area throughout the night, but he felt is best to wait until daylight before sending deputies into the wooded area to search for the suspect.
The vehicle was turned over to the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation for examination.