After two mysterious roadside murders in a week, Mississippians have been on edge as speculation built that a killer posing as a police officer was to blame.
Last week, 74-year-old Thomas K. Schendler was found in dead in his car on Interstate 55 in Panola County. Three days later, the body of 48-year-old Lori Anne Carswell was discovered nearby her vehicle on State Highway 713 in Tunica County. Ballistics test have linked the shooting deaths.
On Wednesday night, two motorists reported being pulled over by a blue Mercury Grand Marquis. In the first incident, which occurred around 9 pm, the pulled-over motorist fired a shot at the Marquis driver and then hurried to local police to report what happened. The Marquis driver did not approach the driver in the second incident just a few minutes later.
Thursday afternoon, Yazoo County Sheriff’s Department took James Lucas, 45, into custody in Yazoo City — roughly 100 miles south of where the shootings took place. Lucas’ blue Mercury Marquis fit a description of the vehicle
Yazoo County Sheriff Jacob Sheriff told WLBT-TV that authorities searched the home of Lucas’ girlfriend and found handcuffs, fake handguns and police badges.
Authorities are questioning Lucas, and while charges are expected, none have been filed yet. Whether Lucas had any involvement in the murders is as yet undetermined.