Angel’ Ross was strangled, autopsy shows

Published 12:00 am Monday, February 5, 2001

[02/05/01] Autopsy results show Virginia “Angel” Massey Ross, found dead Friday afternoon, had been strangled within hours of her abduction, Warren County Sheriff Martin Pace said.

Initial reports from the exam show the 25-year-old mother of three, who was first reported missing Jan. 25, was choked with a piece of rope the night she was last seen at the Vicksburg Branch of Hinds Community College, Pace said.

Ross was reported missing by her parents after she didn’t return from her Thursday night class. After being killed she was buried under 10 feet of dirt near Bovina Cut-Off Road, Pace said.

About an hour after her body was found, Ross’ estranged husband, William “Birt” Ross V, 27, 4309 Campbell Swamp Road, was arrested at a relative’s home on Willow Road. He faces charges of kidnapping and murder.

Birt Ross is scheduled to have an initial court appearance Monday.

A former student at Vicksburg High School, Angel Ross had left her husband of six years about a month ago and had rented a mobile home on Glass Road. She had also started a new job in the insurance department at Vicksburg Medical Center three days before she disappeared.

About halfway through the geology class at Hinds the night she was last seen, she told the teacher she had to leave and asked for the next week’s assignment.

Family members said that Birt Ross left that same day to attend a pool tournament in Memphis. He returned two days later.

Investigators became suspicious of Birt Ross because he was not consistent about where he said he was on the night his estranged wife disappeared, Pace said.

Authorities believe Birt Ross parked his vehicle near the campus and walked to the school to meet his wife. Pace said he believed the two left in Angel Ross’ car and Birt Ross returned it later that night.

When deputies were able to search the area where Birt Ross had worked as a heavy-equipment operator, they discovered a spot that had recently been dug up and found the body of the missing woman, Pace said.

Heavy rains the weekend after Ross was reported missing had flooded the area and hampered the search.

Services for Ross will be at 4 p.m. Tuesday at Glenwood Funeral Home. Burial will follow at Green Acres Memorial Park.