Man Arrested in Missing Family Case After Leading Police to Their Bodies

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A Mississippi man was arrested Tuesday after he led investigators to the bodies of a missing family of 3.

Timothy Lydell Burns, 42, of Jackson, Miss., was charged in the deaths of Atira Hill, 30, her 7-year-old son, Jaidon, and her husband, Laterry Smith, 34.

Burns led police to the 3 bodies inside a dilapidated home in Hermanville, not far from where the family’s Dodge SUV was found still smoldering upside down in a ditch.

Details are sketchy, but ABCNews.com reports the victims had been shot to death.

Police are not revealing what (if any) connection Burns had to the family.

Copiah County Sheriff Harold Jones told ABCNews.com that the family was last seen driving in their car on Friday. The family vanished after their car wrecked Saturday morning. The sheriff said he does not believe the family was in the car when it wrecked.

WAPT-TV reports investigators were searching a dumpster at a Shell gas station in Jackson, Miss., where they recovered personal items belonging to the family.

Among the items collected were bloody clothes and Hill’s ID badge from her job at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, WAPT-TV reported.

A hospital spokesman confirmed to ABCNews.com that an Atira Hill worked there and that she had not reported to work on Monday.

Penny King, a relative of Atira Hill, told ABCNews.com she last spoke with Hill a week ago. She recalled a “strange” conversation Hill had with her mother.

“Atira told her mother on Friday that she was going out of town and something had just come up,” King said. “She said that they were going to see some of Laterry’s people about some business.”

King said she didn’t know what Smith did for a living. She said Hill and Smith had only been married “a few months” and that Smith “didn’t come around much.”

King described Hill as a “very quiet” person whose son, Jaidon, “was her life.”

She broke down in tears when describing the 7-year-old.

“He’s full of energy and full of life. He worked in the church,” she said. “He just didn’t deserve this at all.”

Tags from the story
homicide, Timothy Lydell Burns

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