Suspect in connection with Vidalia double homicide apprehended

Published 10:11 am Wednesday, April 6, 2016

VIDALIA — Police say a Natchez man gunned down his estranged wife and another man in a Vidalia house early Wednesday as the woman’s two children slept nearby.

Police arrested the suspect, Curt Thornton, 35, in Amite County Wednesday afternoon.

Two Vidalia residents — Angela Thornton, 36, and John “Ken” Tibbs, 36, — were shot multiple times and killed early Wednesday by an intruder to a house on Azalea Drive.

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Vidalia Assistant Police Chief Bruce Wiley said the suspect allegedly entered the house through the backdoor at approximately 3 to 3:30 a.m. and reportedly shot both victims.

The two children reportedly did not wake up during the shooting. A female child called a 911 dispatcher at 7 a.m. after she woke up and found the two victims.

Police issued a warrant for Curt Thornton, of Natchez, who was Angela Thornton’s estranged husband, shortly after leaving the crime scene on Wednesday morning.

The Amite County Sheriff’s Office arrested Curt Thornton Wednesday afternoon on a motorcycle following a traffic stop for riding without a helmet at approximately 3 p.m.

Vidalia officers arrived in Liberty at approximately 5 p.m. and took Curt Thornton into custody. He was being booked at Vidalia Police Department Wednesday night.

On March 27, on a Facebook page labeled with Curt Thornton’s name and photos that match the ones police released of the suspect, Thornton posted that he had been struggling with the estranged marriage but was trying to stay strong for his children.

“I’m trying my best but she makes it so hard to be nice,” he wrote on Facebook. “After all I do and have done she thinks she deserves everything and expects me to pay for it. I don’t even have a place to stay.

“She’s had guys staying with her in the house I pay for and I can’t even talk to the kids.”

On March 17, on the same Facebook page, another post included, “I think one of the hardest things to do is start your life over. Just to let everyone know I started the papers last night.”Wiley said along with Amite County’s Sheriff’s Office, the Adams County Sheriff’s Office also helped bring this investigation to a speedy conclusion.

At the crime scene, investigators could be seen Wednesday morning canvassing neighbors’ yards with metal detectors. Neighbors, who were standing across the street, said they didn’t know the couple that lived at 1649 Azalea Drive very well. The couple had lived there approximately a year neighbors said.

Angela Thornton is the mother of the two children who found the two dead, Wiley said.