January 1, 2024

UPDATE: More details in shooting, burning of elderly Scott County woman

Therese Apel

Sammy Patrick is wanted in the shooting death and burning of an elderly Scott County woman
Sammy Patrick

What caused Sammy Patrick to graduate from allegedly stealing vehicles and ATVs to allegedly shooting an elderly neighbor and setting her on fire is as much a mystery right now as where he is, officials said Monday.

Sheriff Mike Lee said the victim Dee Eady, 78, was on the phone with a relative when she told them she could hear her dog barking and wanted to go check on what was going on. Shortly afterward, another family member who had access to her security camera went and checked it and could tell something was wrong. He went to the home and found her fatally shot and burned.

That kicked off a $5,000 reward and a manhunt for Patrick, who previous to his recent spate of alleged vehicle thefts that had caught the attention of officials in Scott and Newton counties had never been on law enforcement radar for violent crimes at all.

“We’re still looking for him. We’re trying to follow all the leads we get,” said Lee.

Patrick has connections in Pearl and other areas of Rankin County, Lee said, as well as in Newton County. Where he is, however, was anybody’s guess until officials say he was seen in Wilkinson County robbing a Subway, driving a pickup truck bearing disabled tag DBW5119.

Mississippi Highway Patrol, Louisiana State Police, and other agencies in that area are searching.

Just days before the alleged attack on Eady, the Scott County Sheriff’s Department had put Patrick’s picture on their Facebook in regards to the vehicle and ATV thefts, asking that anyone who knew where he might be contact police. So far that had not led to any information.

Even though he has a lot of family in Scott County and lived in the same neighborhood as Eady, he was able to fly below the radar in a large part because, Lee said, he’s a loner with very few friends.

It’s not even clear how well he and Eady knew each other, if they even did.

“I think with her demeanor, she’s probably helped him before,” Lee said. “Because of living close to each other in that area, it’s a good possibility that they had met.”

The security camera does show a significant portion of the crime before Patrick moved it, Lee said. One thing the footage cannot clear up, though, is what motive would Patrick have if he were in fact the one who killed his neighbor.

The home was ransacked, but Eady’s purse still had her money in it. Her late husband’s gun collection was all accounted for. Authorities are still digging into it, but it’s not clear that anything is missing.

“All that stuff was there,” Lee said. “It’s like it was rushed.”

It’s possible that he was interrupted, the sheriff said, perhaps by the family member or something else.

“He got over there pretty quick,” Lee said.

Previous widespread media reports stated that there had been a sexual component to the attack, but Lee addressed that by saying that wasn’t on the camera and won’t be certain until the autopsy is completed.

But prior to this, Patrick had nothing of note on his record. No violent crimes, no attacks on others. Shooting someone and setting them on fire definitely didn’t seem to fit his patterns until the alleged attack on December 30.

“I think he was trying to cover his crime, other than that I’m not sure,” Lee said of the fire.

Lee said it’s possible that there could be a substance abuse issue that Patrick is dealing with. But who his associates would be is not clear, outside of whatever contacts he might have through something like that.

“I think that he’s probably got some people that will maybe hide him out,” Lee said. “But he’s a loner, so it’s hard to put together a full profile of where he would go. He’s been a hard guy to pinpoint, who and what he is, because he stays so alone. ”

Patrick is charged with capital murder in Dee Eady’s death. If you see Sammy Patrick, do not try to approach him, Lee said. Call your local law enforcement immediately.

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