The Lauderdale County Sheriff’s Department is investigating its first homicide of 2020 after a body was found early Tuesday morning.
Deputies were called around 6 a.m. after a motorist spotted a body on the side of Valley Road south of Arundel Road, said Lauderdale County Chief Deputy Ward Calhoun. Several shell casings and a blood trail were found at the scene, he said.
The victim was identified as Willie Lloyd Philips, 37, of Meridian.
Authorities have not determined a motive or named any suspects in the case.
Calhoun said Philips could have been killed between 11 p.m. on Monday and 6 a.m. on Tuesday. It's possible the crime could have happened in a vehicle before it ended on the road, he said.
Calhoun said several people saw Philips, who frequently walked through the community because he didn't have a car, on Monday.
The body has been transported to the state crime lab for an autopsy.
Anyone with information in the case is encouraged to call sheriff's department or East Mississippi Crimestoppers at 1-855-485-TIPS.