On Aug. 14, 2019, investigators with the Forrest County Sheriff’s Office were made aware of a missing person, Emalee Luvenea Walters, a 37-year-old female from Eatonville.
The ensuing investigation identified Jeremy Scotty McCarty as a prime suspect. While pursuing the investigation of Walters’s disappearance, Forrest County Sheriff’s Office investigators arrested McCarty on a separate charge of aggravated domestic violence that he had committed on a family member.
After his arrest, McCarty was interviewed about Walters’s disappearance, but denied any knowledge then of where she might be or what may have happened to her. Further investigation revealed that Walters was last seen or heard from about one month prior to Aug. 14th.
As the investigation continued and evidence and witness statements were obtained, McCarty was subsequently charged with 1stdegree Mmurder for Walters’s death but was never brought to trial. At the time, McCarty was on probation from the Mississippi Department of Corrections for a previous burglary, and he was transferred to the Central Mississippi Correctional Facility in Rankin County to serve the remainder of that sentence.
In Jan. 2020, a new administration was instituted at the Forrest County Sheriff’s Office under the leadership of Sheriff Charlie Sims. Sims designated several cases as a priority to be solved, with Walters’s case being one of those.
The Forrest County Sheriff’s Office and the Forrest and Perry County District Attorney’s investigators continued to develop leads in the case and re-interviewed witnesses and combed through the existing case file for additional items of evidence. On Nov. 10, 2020, Forrest County and district attorney investigators traveled to Rankin County to interview McCarty.
During this interview, McCarty admitted that on July 11, 2019, he murdered Walters at his residence on McPhail Road in Forrest County. McCarty also agreed to lead investigators to Walters’s remains, which were located in a wooded area in southeast Covington County.
Of note, the crime scene search that occurred on Monroe Road in November was associated with this case but did not provide any evidence of value. On Jan. 12, 2021, McCarty pleaded guilty to the 2nddegree murder of Walters and was sentenced to 40 years to be served day-for-day, by Forrest County Circuit Court Judge Robert Helfrich.
The following agencies contributed to the investigation: the initial and current Forrest County investigators assigned to the case, the Forrest and Perry County District Attorney’s Office, the Hattiesburg Police Department Metro Crime Scene Unit, the Jones County Sheriff’s Office, the Covington County Sheriff’s Office, the Covington County Coroner’s Office, the 12th NET Metro Narcotics Task Force and the friends and family of Walters.