Break-in, vandalism reported at home of beating victim

Published 12:08 pm Friday, February 3, 2012

The home of a Warren County man who remains unconscious in a Jackson hospital following an assault Sunday afternoon was reported burglarized Thursday, while a $13,500 reward has been raised for information leading to the arrest of his attackers.

Fred Jackson, 62, 627 Wright Road, was breathing on his own and stable but still in serious condition at University Medical Center, said his daughter, Sheila Hedrick. Jackson was beaten and robbed Sunday while he was welding a gate at Tri-Miss Services, a recycling yard at 416 Woodrow Wilson Drive in Jackson.

Hedrick helped catalog damage to and items missing from Jackson’s home as deputies investigated the break-in, which the family reported to authorities around 3:30 p.m. but said was discovered around 5:30 a.m.

Email newsletter signup

Sign up for The Vicksburg Post's free newsletters

Check which newsletters you would like to receive
  • Vicksburg News: Sent daily at 5 am
  • Vicksburg Sports: Sent daily at 10 am
  • Vicksburg Living: Sent on 15th of each month

Hedrick said jewelry, small appliances, clothing and gifts were missing and other items were trashed.

“A lot of sentimental things of Mama’s and Daddy’s are gone,” she said. “They took my mama’s jewelry box and they smashed a picture they had of ‘The Last Supper.’”

Hedrick’s mother died in 2008, she said. A jewelry box belonging to Jackson’s fiancee was smashed but her jewelry did not appear to be missing, said Hedrick.

As investigators continued on the scene Thursday evening it was unclear whether Jackson’s fiancee, who lives in the home, intended to press charges, said Sheriff Martin Pace.

Jackson’s injuries include several skull fractures and severe head trauma, Hedrick said, and he was robbed of about $500, a payroll check and his cell phone.

Surveillance video at Tri-Miss shows two men wearing hoodies entering the yard and coming up behind him. Jackson police spokesman Colendula Green said he was struck in the head several times with a blunt object.

“We’ve known Fred for more than 28 years,” said Jeff Thoman, director of operations at Tri-Miss. “It’s just an absolutely terrible thing.”

Tri-Miss has put up $7,500 of the reward, and The Can Man, another Jackson recycling business that “shares in our misery” contributed $2,500, Thoman said.

The Jackson family has added $1,000, said Hedrick. Along with the $2,500 offered by Central Mississippi Crime Stoppers, the reward for information leading to an arrest in the case has grown to $13,500, she said.

“And we are trying to come up with more,” she added.

Jackson has remained unresponsive since the attack, Hedrick said, but family members who visit believe he senses their presence.

“The doctors are telling us that even though he is in the coma state, he can hear us,” she said. “He can feel when we hold his hand. When we talk to him, his blood pressure goes up.”

Anyone with information about the attack can call Crime Stoppers toll free at 888-827-4637. Callers will not be asked their names and are never identified, even to receive the reward.