Authorities have arrested a man in connection with the disappearance of a University of Mississippi student who has been missing for two weeks, the Clarion Ledger reports.
On Friday, the Oxford Police Department and University of Mississippi Police announced that Shelton Timothy Herrington Jr., 22, has been charged with murder. Investigators believe Herrington killed Jimmie “Jay” Lee, whose body has still not been found.
Lee was last seen on July 8 leaving the Campus Walk Apartments wearing a silver dress, gold cap and gray slippers. He reportedly drove away in a black 2014 Ford Fusion sedan with the license plate “JAYLEE1”, but his relatives have not seen or heard from him since.
Authorities found the vehicle on July 11 at a towing company after the car was towed from Molly Barr Trails flats in Oxford. The vehicle was secured and sent to the Mississippi State Crime Laboratory for forensic examination.
Police believe Lee was visiting someone at the Molly Barr Trails apartment complex before disappearing shortly before 6 a.m. on July 8.
Footage released by authorities shows Lee dressed in women’s clothing and, in some cases, makeup, although he apparently identified as a gay man, CNN reports.
Last week, Lee’s father, Jimmie Lee, Sr., urged anyone with information to report him.
Here is a statement from the Lee family requesting any information as to the whereabouts of Jimmie “Jay” Lee.
If you have a pipe, please contact OPD or UPD. CrimeStoppers has pledged $1,000 to anyone with information to find Lee. pic.twitter.com/Yuni7AX4UF
— Oxford Police Department (@OxfordPolice) July 13, 2022
“If someone knows something or sees something, say something. Contact law enforcement. Just tell them what you know. This is my plea for you to help find my child,” Lee, Sr. said in a video recording.
Lee, Sr. added that his son was a hard worker who wanted to help others, according to Fox News.
“My son was currently working on an effort to provide infant formula to children who did not have any available,” the distressed father said in the video clip.
Local, state and federal authorities worked to locate Lee and announced monetary rewards for information about what happened to him. Police executed search warrants and interviewed scores of people on Thursday as part of their investigation.
It’s unclear what led police to focus on Herrington and arrest him, but authorities said further details would be provided later.
A bond for Herrington has yet to be set.
Lee is described as 5ft 7in, 120lbs, with blonde and black hair.
A vigil was held for Lee at the Ole Miss campus on Wednesday, before authorities announced an arrest in the case.
“He’s a very nice person,” classmate Kara Gallagher told WAPT-TV. “He was always outgoing, and the reason we’re doing this is, if he was one of us, he’d be here right now.”
To report information related to Lee’s disappearance or murder, call the Oxford Police Department at 662-232-2400 or the University of Mississippi Police at 662-915-7234.
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[Featured image: Police Handout]