Man pleads guilty to murder of Forrest Co. woman missing since 2019

Man pleads guilty to murder of Forrest Co. woman missing since 2019
Jeremy Scotty McCarty was charged with second-degree murder and sentenced to 40 years in prison by Forrest County Circuit Judge Robert Helfrich. (Source: Forrest County Sheriff's Office)

FORREST COUNTY, Miss. (WDAM) - The suspect in the 2019 murder of an Eatonville woman pleaded guilty and was sentenced Tuesday.

According to Forrest County Sheriff Charlie Sims, Jeremy Scotty McCarty admitted to murdering 37-year-old Emalee Luvenea Walters during an interview with investigators last year.

(Source: Forrest County Sheriff's Office)

McCarty became a suspect after Walters was reported missing on Aug. 14, 2019. He was later arrested by Forrest County investigators on a separate aggravated domestic violence charge.

Sims said in a news release McCarty was asked about Walters’ disappearance but denied any knowledge of where she might be or what could have happened to her.

During the investigation, deputies learned Walters was last seen or heard from about one month before she was reported missing.

As the investigation continued and witness statements were taken, Sims said McCarty was charged with first-degree murder for Walters’ death but was never brought to trial.

At the time, McCarty was on probation from the Mississippi Department of Corrections for a prior burglary charge and was transferred to the Central Mississippi Correctional Facility in Rankin County to serve the remainder of that sentence.

In January 2020, Sims identified several cases as a “priority” to be solved, with Walters’ case being one of them.

Forrest County and Perry County District Attorney’s Investigators continued to develop leads in the case, re-interviewed witnesses and went through existing case file for additional evidence.

Investigators went to Rankin County to interview McCarty again on Nov. 10, 2020.

During the interview, Sims said McCarty admitted to killing Walters at his home on McPhail Road in Forrest County. Sims said McCarty also told investigators the remains that were found in a wooded area in Covington County did belong to Walters.

Sims said a possible crime scene search that took place on Monroe Road in Forrest County in November was associated with the case but did not provide any evidence of value.

On Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021, McCarty pleaded guilty to the second-degree murder of Walters and was sentenced to 40 years in prison by Forrest County Circuit Court Judge Robert Helfrich.

Sims thanked all of the individuals and agencies that assisted in the case in order to bring Walters’ murderer to justice.

Copyright 2021 WDAM. All rights reserved.