Mississippi authorities are on the hunt for a suspect possibily posing as a police officer, who may be responsible for the murders of two people who were discovered shot to death along a desolate stretch of highway.
Mississippi Department of Public Safety spokesman Warren Strain said authorities have received several leads regarding the two shootings. They believe that the murders were carried by the individual.
There are a lot of similarities, namely the fact that the shootings occurred on the side of the road, Strain said, reported FoxNews.com. There are several leads that we're following.
Thomas Schlender was found in in his car along Interstate 55 near Panola County. The 74-year-old from Raymond, Neb., was shot dead at the scene on May 8. Schlender was driving to Florida to visit his grandson.
Three days later, Lori Anne Carswell, 48, of Hernando, was discovered murdered outside of her vehicle on Mississippi Highway 713 in Tunica County on Friday, reported Fox. Carswell just got out of work from Fitzgerald's Casino, also known as the Fitz Casino, in Tunica County, reported the Associated Press.
We don't know how she wound up outside of the vehicle, but she was out of the car, Strain said, reported the AP.
Police are currently analyzing shell casings found at the scene, reported ABC.
The shootings appeared to be random. Authorities are searching for a connection between the victims, but there does not appear to be a known link.
Authorities began all out search of the area in hopes of finding some clues that could lead them to the killer.
We do not have any witnesses at this point, DeSoto County district attorney John Champion told the Associated Press. We're asking the community for help.
Both areas are low-lying along rivers with plenty of open fields. Authorities are investigating whether the suspect had impersonated an officer in order to get the victims to the side of the road before killing them.
Champion said it does not appear that the killer robbed any of the victims and neither of the victims vehicles had mechanical problems. Police said they are still attempting to piece together a motive for the murders.
Police from DeSoto, Tunica and Coahoma counties are working in conjunction with one another on this case. However, although the last thing authorities want to do is to create a panic out there, Champion said, authorities are still warning drivers to err on the side of caution.
We urge everyone to be cautious while driving, especially at night, the Tate County Sheriff's Office posted on its Facebook page. If someone attempts to pull you over with flashing lights and you feel unsure of stopping, DON'T PULL OVER. Use your cell phone and dial 911 and if it's a real officer then the dispatcher will confirm it for you and if it's not a real officer they will send help to you.
Our deputies have been told not to overreact if someone does not immediately pull over, the sheriff's office wrote. Your safety is our primary concern.