Woman, 72, found slain at her home off U.S. 80|[1/16/06]

Published 12:00 am Monday, January 16, 2006

The body of a Warren County woman apparently killed in a violent attack was found Sunday in the home where she lived alone.

Sheriff Martin Pace identified the victim of the county’s first homicide in 2006 as Elizabeth Williams, 72. Her niece and niece’s husband found her just after noon following several unanswered calls to her home at 1508 Greenhill Road off U.S. 80 East, Pace said.

&#8220We are investigating the case as a homicide,” he said. &#8220There is evidence on the scene that a certain amount of violence was involved in her death.” He did not disclose whether a weapon was used.

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Williams’ green 1997 Chevrolet Malibu was missing from the front of her home when her body was discovered, but later in the afternoon it was recovered by deputies outside a motel on U.S. 80. The car was taken to the Warren County Jail to be analyzed for fingerprints and other evidence.

&#8220The fact that the car was missing we feel is obviously related to her death,” Pace said late Sunday afternoon, but he would not elaborate on evidence of struggle, burglary or forced entry into the mobile home. &#8220It’s too early in the investigation to speculate on too many specifics.”

The sheriff said witnesses were being interviewed, but no suspect had been named.

An autopsy was scheduled today at Mississippi Mortuary Services in Rankin County, said Warren County Coroner John Thomason.

Williams had last been seen Saturday night when her niece and niece’s husband picked her up from work at a Kroger in Clinton and drove her home, Pace said.

Williams had several children who live out of state and extended relatives in Vicksburg, but none was available this morning.

Funeral arrangements will be handled by Glenwood Funeral Home, Pace said, but specifics had not been discussed, said a spokesman for the funeral home.

In 2005, no homicides were reported in the county outside Vicksburg. One was reported in 2004. Seven homicides were investigated by Vicksburg police inside the city limits in 2005.