UPDATE: Four people now charged in death of man found in Pascagoula River

Local News

JACKSON COUNTY, Miss. (WKRG) — UPDATE (3:25 P.M. 10/2/20): Four people have now been charged in the death of Dustin Suttles, who was found floating in the Pascagoula river Sept. 22.

27-year-old Zachary Cooper of Moss Point and 36-year-old Jason Lee Miller of Lucedale are each charged with accessory after the fact to capital murder.

23-year-old Taylor Carpenter was charged on Sept. 29. for accessory to murder. Joseph Paul McLeod, 33, is charged with capital murder.

McLeod is being held without bond. Bond for Carpenter, Cooper and Miller is set at $100,000 each.

UPDATE (3:09 P.M. 9/29/20) — A second man has been charged in the death of Dustin Lee Suttles, the Gautier man whose body was found last week floating in the Pascagoula River.

Sheriff Mike Ezell says investigators arrested 23-year-old Taylor Allan Carpenter of Escatawpa Tuesday morning. He is charged with accessory after the fact to capital murder. 33-year-old Joseph Paul McLeod is charged with capital murder in Suttles’ death and is jailed with no bond.

Taylor Allen Carpenter

Carpenter is in the Adult Detention Center with no bond awaiting an initial court hearing.

Ezell says other arrests are expected in this case.

UPDATE (8:10 p.m. 9/25/20) — Jackson County Sheriff’s investigators have charged a Pascagoula man with capital murder for the death of Dustin Suttles, whose body was found floating in the Pascagoula River earlier this week.

Sheriff Mike Ezell says 33-year-old Joseph Paul McLeod was arrested Thursday night, Sept. 24, on unrelated charges. On Sept. 25, McLeod was charged with killing 29-year-old Dustin Lee Suttles. Suttles’ body was found in the river Tuesday, Sept. 22, near Roy Cumbest Bridge off Wade/Vancleave Road. The victim’s family confirmed his identity through a tattoo on his left arm.

Joseph Paul McLeod

The FBI Safe Streets Task Force and the South Mississippi Metro Enforcement Team, SMMET, are assisting in the ongoing investigation. Other arrests are possible.

McLeod is jailed without bond at the Jackson County Adult Detention Center. He is expected to have an initial court hearing Monday.

UPDATE ( 4 p.m. 9/24/20) — Authorities have ruled Dustin Suttles’ death as a homicide, according to a preliminary autopsy done by the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department.

No other details are available at this time. If anyone has any information, call 228-769-3063.

Original story

The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office has identified the man found floating in the Pascagoula River on Tuesday, Sept. 22, as Dustin Lee Suttles, 29.

His body was found Tuesday afternoon near the Roy Cumbest Bridge off Wade/Vancleave Road. Sheriff Mike Ezell says Suttles’ family recognized a tattoo with the numbers “334” on his lower left arm and confirmed his identity.

A boat was found about a quarter mile downriver from where his body was found. Investigators do not know who owns the boat.

An autopsy is scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 24.


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