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A convicted Mississippi child rapist, who was put to death for the 2010 murder of his wife, confessed to killing his sister-in-law in a separate slaying prior to his execution, officials said this week.
David Neal Cox, who was sentenced to death in the murder of his estranged spouse, Kim Kirk Cox, also admitted to carrying out the killing of his brother’s wife, Felecia Cox, weeks before he was executed at a state penitentiary on Nov. 17, according to prosecutors.
Officials are now putting together a search to locate the remains Mississippi mother based on information provided by the former death row inmate.
The 51-year-old man, prosecutors said, revealed the location of Felecia Cox’s remains to a team of post-conviction attorneys in exchange for immunity related to her disappearance. This week, prosecutors confirmed Cox had been absolved of any possible murder charges.
“We were relieved not only to be able to get some closure to the case but also primarily for the victim’s family,” First Circuit District Attorney, John Weddle, told Oxygen.com. “We were very pleased that we were able to get the information, now we just have to see if it’s accurate information.
“We really had no intent on delaying anything to prosecute him for this murder," Weddle explained. "So we were willing to grant him immunity to give us the information on the location of the body.”
Felecia Cox vanished in July 2007 while planning a visit to see her incarcerated husband, Jeff Cox — David’s brother — who was detained in an Oxford, Mississippi jail, according to a missing person’s report obtained by Oxygen.com. The then 40-year-old mother had arranged to get a ride to the jail from her husband’s brother, David, and his wife, Kim.
The couple’s home was the last place she was seen alive, relatives said. David Cox quickly became a person of interest in her disappearance, but ultimately denied any involvement and was never charged.
“We kind of always felt like it was David or he at least knew what happened or took part in it,” Amber Miskelly, Felecia Cox’s daughter, told Oxygen.com on Tuesday. “We just didn’t have all the information to prove it."
The case ultimately went cold.
In August 2021, shortly before David Cox's scheduled execution, detectives from the Pontotoc County Sheriff’s Department interviewed him regarding his sister-in-law’s disappearance. The meeting, officials said, was unsuccessful.
Cox, however, later disclosed the location of his sister-in-law’s corpse to his post-conviction attorneys, who passed that information onto prosecutors.
The Mississippi Office of Capital Post-Conviction Counsel said Cox had felt “deep remorse and wanted to bring closure to her family,” in a statement released on Tuesday.
Search efforts for Felecia Cox’s remains will be concentrated in Pontotoc County investigators said during a press conference on Monday. Officials, who were tight-lipped regarding the exact location, are hopeful David Cox’s information will lead to the discovery of his sister-in-law’s remains.
“We feel confident that he’s done the best he can to try to reveal the location there,” Weddle added. “We think we’ve got a good chance and we’re hopeful that we’ll be able to do that for the family and close the case.”
Officials estimated search crews would be deployed within the month.
“Soon we’ll be able to get out there and do that,” Weddle said. “Hopefully very soon.”
Archeological and anthropological experts from Mississippi State University are also now standing by to assist investigators involving identification efforts of any remains found.
“To close the case on this, mark it solved, and of course to give the family some closure, I think in my mind as a prosecutor, it’s more important to close the investigative file on it,” Weddle added. “But as a person, as a member of the community up here, our hearts go out to the family in a situation like this and we want closure for them.”
In 2012, David Cox was convicted in the murder of his wife Kim Kirk Cox’s murder, as well as the sexual assault of her 12-year-old daughter. He was sentenced to death, according to online jail records obtained by Oxygen.com.
Felecia Cox's daughter, Miskelly, was 18 when her mother vanished. She had discovered she was pregnant shortly before the disappearance.
For years, she said, the family has been tormented by the uncertainty of what happened to her mom — but recovering her remains now, she said, would bring a small fragment of closure to their family.
“It’s been really tough,” said Miskelly, who works as an office assistant at a tire repair shop in Ripley, Mississippi. “It would be a relief and we could finally give her a proper burial. It means everything to me."
"It definitely would mean a lot because that way I would have somewhere where I could go visit her," she added. "And to just finally know where she is.”
Felicia Cox collected miniature dolphin figurines, adored music — particularly the singer Kid Rock — and was obsessed with writing and journaling. Her favorite color was purple, Miskelly said.
“She was my best friend,” Miskelly recalled. “She was always there for me.”
Felcia Cox’s family is now eagerly awaiting any updates from county investigators regarding the renewed search.
Miskelly said that, whatever the outcome, the justice system had long ago “failed” their family.
“The investigators from Pontotoc County, to me, didn’t do their jobs very good,” Miskelly stated.
The 32-year-old also sharply criticized law enforcement for not seriously investigating her mother’s disappearance at the time.
“Her case file really has nothing in it much to show what they even did and I feel like if they would have done their jobs better, that this could have been solved a long time ago,” Miskelly said.
Pontotoc County Sheriff Leo Mask, whose office is assisting prosecutors in search efforts forFelecia Cox, didn’t respond to questions surrounding the open case on Tuesday.
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