Hill (pictured), 30, her 7-year-old son, Jaidon (pictured), and her husband, Laterry Smith (pictured), 34, who mysteriously vanished after their car was wrecked this past weekend, were all found dead by police on Tuesday morning. Jackson, Miss., resident, Timothy Lydell Burns, 42, has been arrested in connection to the family’s death, reports WAPT-TV.
According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, the family was last spotted on Friday driving in their tan-colored Dodge SUV. On Saturday morning, deputies discovered their vehicle, lying upside down and still smoldering, in a ditch located in rural Hermanville, Miss. According to the Copiah County Sheriff’s Department, no one had seen or heard from the trio since Friday.
The SUV’s location was not too far from an old home and sheriff deputies eventually decided to investigate the property.
When officials entered the home, they discovered the bodies of Hill, Jaidon, and Smith — all three had been shot to death.
Investigators believe the family was killed before the crash and their bodies were dumped at the house. The vehicle was deliberately set on fire in order to destroy any evidence, sheriff deputies surmise.
Information has not been released on whether Burns, who is reportedly facing murder and arson charges, has any connection to the family.
Meanwhile, deputies were seen digging through dumpsters at a Shell station where the bodies were discovered. The officers found bloodied clothing and Hill’s job ID from the hospital where she was employed.
According to Penny King, who was related to Hill and who spoke to ABC News, the victim had a strange conversation with her mother about a week ago. “Atira told her mother on Friday that she was going out of town and something had just come up,” King told ABC News. “She said that they were going to see some of Laterry’s people about some business.”
King said that Hill and her husband were newlyweds and she did not know what Smith did for a living. Smith was a virtual stranger to King because, according to her, he really didn’t visit Hill’s family much.
The case is still being investigated by authorities.