A third suspect has been arrested and charged in connection with the murder of a missing Louisiana man who was found deceased in a wooded area near Mississippi 13 close to the Lumberton airport.
Lamar County Sheriff Danny Rigel said 47-year-old Larry McCarty was charged with accessory after the fact of murder in the killing of Ponchatoula, Lousiana native Dedrick Grant Jr. McCarty is being held in the Lamar County Jail.
In addition, Hattiesburg resident Rachel Danielle Dean, 35, was charged with capital murder and armed robbery and is being held without bond in the Lamar County Jail. Michael David Benge, 38, of Hattiesburg has a warrant for his arrest on similar charges. He was arrested by Jones County police during a traffic stop after deputies discovered a stolen handgun, which may have been used in Grant’s murder. Benge is being held at the Jones County Jail but will be returned to Lamar County to face charges.
Rigel said Grant had apparently been robbed and killed, although it is unclear how long Grant had been dead. He was shot at least once, and his body has been sent to the state crime lab for an autopsy.
Ryan Moore, public information officer for the Hattiesburg Police Department – which was helping the Ponchatoula Police Department in the search for Grant – said Grant was last seen headed to Mississippi on June 18 with several friends and had not been seen since then. Grant’s family told authorities he might have been headed to Hattiesburg or the surrounding area.