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Arkansas Teen Who Went Missing After Date Found Shot To Death In Remote Wilderness
"My son didn't have any enemies, nor was he a trouble child, he worked, went to school, and played his game. He was a pure momma's boy," Shirley Howell wrote of her late son, Fredarrious Wilson.
The body of missing Arkansas teen Fredarrious Wilson was found riddled with gunshot wounds in a remote area of Holly Springs National Forest in northern Mississippi last Wednesday.
The Yalobusha County Sheriff's Department of Mississippi and the West Memphis Police Department of Arkansas searched the forest for the 18-year-old on March 7 after the latter agency pinged the last location for Wilson's phone nearby, according to WMC-TV.
"We searched the area for over six hours Tuesday night, but were unsuccessful," Yalobusha County Sheriff Jerimaine Gooch told FOX 13. "The area is very remote."
Gooch said that his department communicated with Wilson's family throughout Tuesday's search, and that his loved ones carried out their own search independently.
“If I would have seen my baby right there, I would have contaminated the crime scene," Wilson's mother, Shirley Howell, told FOX 13. "I would have had to get my baby. I would have to go get him cause that was mine."
Wilson's body wasn't recovered until approximately 11:20 a.m. the next day, when a U.S. Forest Services employee working in the area spotted it 30 yards off County Road 243.
"Sadly, it wasn't the outcome we wanted," Sheriff Gooch told FOX 13. "Our focus is on this investigation, making an arrest and providing answers and closure for his family. Our prayers go out to them."
The Yalobusha County Sheriff’s department, the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Forestry Service, the District Attorney’s office, the Water Valley Police Department and the West Memphis Police are now investigating the apparent homicide.
Police have yet to make an arrest or release a motive or possible suspect in Wilson's killing. They also haven't released Wilson's cause of death.
However, Howell told WREG that her son's body was found with multiple gunshot wounds.
The bereaved mother recalled that she reported Wilson missing when he never returned home on March 5 after telling her that he was going on a date with a classmate from Academies of West Memphis High School.
“I’m texting his phone asking him, ‘Boy where you at?’ No response," she recalled. "I called, no response. I’m calling, calling, calling back and forth calling, no response."
She learned that he was with another woman when surveillance footage from a McDonalds in West Memphis surfaced, according to WREG.
"My son didn't have any enemies, nor was he a trouble child, he worked, went to school, and played his game he was a pure momma's boy," Howell wrote on Facebook.
She told FOX 13 that he was slated to graduate high school in the spring and that he hardly ever strayed far from home before his disappearance. He was the type of person, she said, to "give the shirt off his back" to someone in need.
Wilson's school put out a tribute to the slain student last week, saying that the teen "would light up the classroom with his smile, and his kindness and magnetic personality garnered the adoration of staff and students alike."
The Academies offered their condolences to Wilson's family, writing in their statement that "our continued support and strength for one another in this community will help us all get through this time of sorrow."