By BRIAN HAWKINS
After following multiple leads but developing little evidence, Oktibbeha County sheriff's deputies are seeking the public's help in identifying three suspects in a home invasion that occurred two weeks ago on Blackjack Road.
"People have been trying to help us. We've been checking out every lead we get," said Sheriff Dolph Bryan on Tuesday. "We just need any help we can get to crack this case."
The incident occurred at 1475 Blackjack Road on Jan. 11.
The female victim told deputies that she had been robbed by three black males after responding to a knock at the door of her home.
The suspects, brandishing what deputies described as large-caliber handguns, forced the victim to give them cash before tying her up and attempting to leave the scene in her vehicle, according to Sheriff's Department reports.
As they were leaving, the suspects fired multiple gunshots at the victim's brother as he was arriving home. The victim's vehicle was recovered a short time later in the Artesia Road area, reports state.
The victim's brother was not hit by the gunshots, Bryan said.
The first of the three suspects is described as being 6 feet tall, weighing 150 pounds with a slim build and wearing a black shirt, jeans and tennis shoes.
The second suspect is described as being 5 feet, 6 inches tall and weighing between 140 and 150 pounds with a slim build. He was described as having short hair and a dark complexion and wearing a black jacket, gray hooded sweatshirt and jeans.
A composite sketch of the second suspect has been released by sheriff's deputies.
The third suspect is described as being 5 feet, 8 inches tall and weighing between 150 and 160 pounds with a stocky build. He also had a dark complexion and was seen wearing light-colored coveralls with an attached hood and boots.
Bryan said deputies initially believed a home invasion that occurred in eastern Webster County a few days after the Blackjack Road incident might have been connected, but the investigation has since revealed that not to be the case.
"This is a serious situation we've got because of someone coming into a home with a gun," Bryan said. "We want anyone who might know something to call us or call Crime Stoppers."
Sheriff's deputies are asking anyone who may have information about the incident or the suspects to contact the department at 323-2421, the Sheriff's Department Investigations Unit at 324-8484, the Starkville Police Department at 323-4131 or Golden Triangle Crime Stoppers at 1-800-530-7151.
All Crime Stoppers tips are confidential and could result in a reward of up to $1,000 for the caller if the tip results in an arrest in this case or any felony crime.