Community benefit set for slaying victim’s children

Published 12:00 am Monday, March 19, 2001

Melissa and Ken Bufkin, left, listen as Missy and Noel Tello go over plans for a benefit to help raise money for the children of Virginia “Angel” Massey Ross. The benefit “Family Spring Fling” will be April 7 from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. at City Park Pavilion. (The Vicksburg Post/MELANIE DUNCAN)

[03/19/01] A public benefit is scheduled April 7 to raise money for three Warren County children whose mother was slain and father is jailed in the killing.

Missy Tello, who is one of the organizers of the “Family Spring Fling,” said it was her own need to help that gave her the idea for the benefit for the children of Virginia “Angel” Massey Ross and Birt Ross.

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Tello, who is employed at the Vicksburg Child Abuse Prevention Center, said her sons attended a day care where Angel Ross and her mother, Mary Massey, formerly were employed.

Tello said her husband, Noel Tello, saw how upset she was after Angel Ross’ death and thought it would be good to help the slain woman’s family.

“It just kind of grew from there, and it has really taken off,” Missy Tello said.

Along with the Tellos, Paul and Sandra Price and Ken and Melissa Bufkin have rallied local residents and businesses to help fund the event.

“We are all just concerned citizens trying to make some kind of difference,” Missy Tello said.

The body of 25-year-old Angel Ross was found Feb. 2, eight days after she was reported missing from Hinds Community College in Vicksburg, where she was a student.

Her estranged husband, Birt Ross, 27, 4309 Campbell Swamp Road, was arrested the same day and charged with kidnapping and strangling her. He is being held without bond in the Warren County Jail pending the Warren County grand jury deciding in May whether he will be indicted.

Angel Ross left behind three children, William, 4, Ashtin, 7, and 3-year-old Juliana.

The children are now living with Angel Ross’ parents, Mary and Charles Massey.

Family Spring Fling will be at the Vicksburg City Pavilion from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m., Tello said.

Admission is free, but donations are encouraged, Tello said.

Activities will include a raffle, a cake walk, a silent auction, a moonwalk and entertainment by local bands.

“Whatever we can raise for the children would be great,” Missy Tello said.

Four of the city’s five mayoral candidates have agreed to participate in a dunking booth.

Robert Walker, Laurence Leyens, Eric Rawlings and Eva Marie Ford plan to take the plunge, Tello said. Candidate Joe Loviza plans to attend the fund-raiser as well, she said.

Donations have already poured in from around the community, Tello said, and the reaction has been heartwarming.

“We can’t bring their parents back but maybe we can help ease the pain some,” she said.