September 20, 2021

Byram Police Chief: 2 persons of interest in alleged “free car” death investigation

Therese Apel

Authorities say two men told them they found a body inside a vehicle allegedly bearing a sign that said “Free car” after they had driven it to Copiah County from Byram.

Coroner Ellis Stuart said the young men said they were driving around in the Byram area and saw an Acura passenger car parked on the side of the road. According to the men, it had a sign on it saying it was for free, so they got inside. They allegedly found the key there and cranked the vehicle and it was in running condition.

Authorities said the witnesses told them they were going to Copiah County anyway, so they took the car with them to go mud riding at on some family land. When they arrived at their destination, they allegedly decided to look around inside the car.

Stuart said in the trunk of the vehicle there was a nude white male. Initially, it appeared he’d been inside the trunk for a few days, the coroner said. Later, Byram Police Chief David Errington said the victim, identified by his tattoos as 34-year-old Anthony McCrillis, was seen on surveillance camera around 9 p.m. Friday night.

Errington said there are at least two persons of interest in the case, but there are still questions to be answered before what kind of case it is can even be determined.

“We do not know where he died or where he was killed. We don’t know if it was a homicide or a suicide until we hear back on the autopsy,” said Errington. “We have a timeline of death, so we know he was alive Friday at 9 p.m. on a doorbell camera, that was in Byram on the city limits. He was found Sunday morning at 1:30 a.m. in Copiah County.”

The two men who were driving the vehicle seemed shocked to find the body, according to the sheriff.

“They seemed very shocked that there was a body in the vehicle,” Sheriff Byron Swilley said.

The body was sent to the Medical Examiner’s office for autopsy, but at this time, Stuart said there’s no immediate way to tell the cause of death.

Errington said since the vehicle appears to have been taken in Byram, his detectives are trying to run down leads.

“We’ve taken possession of the vehicle and are going to have it moved to our crime scene bank for processing,” Errington said.

As this story unfolds, additional information will be released as it’s available, Errington said.

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