• 54°

Bodies thought to be that of husband, wife, found burned inside an 18-wheeler in Church Hill community

Two bodies thought to be that of a husband and wife were discovered burned up inside of an 18-wheeler in Jefferson County near the Church Hill community early Sunday morning, officials said.

Jefferson County Sheriff James Bailey said the remains are believed to be that of Ronald Merritt, 45, and his wife, Carisa Merritt, 42, and were found inside of a blue colored 18-wheeler outside of a hunting camp near Chapel Hill Road after 7 a.m. Sunday.

Jefferson County Coroner Ricky McDonald said identification of the remains is pending autopsies at the state crime lab and DNA tests will be run to determine if the bodies are indeed the Merritts.

“There is reason to believe it is them,” McDonald said. “Neither of them have been seen or heard from since Sunday.”

Bailey said Monday that the cause of the deaths is still under investigation.

Bailey said Carisa Merritt’s mother, Victoria Queen, told investigators that a blue 18-wheeler, which she believed was being driven by Ronald Merritt, passed her house Sunday before daylight.

Queen tried to contact her daughter when she did not show up for church later on Sunday morning and could not make contact, Bailey said.

“She started to get worried because it wasn’t like her not to show up for church and she tried to call her three or four times and had not heard from her.”

Bailey said a witness told investigators that he blew his horn at an 18-wheeler to be let in to the hunting camp on Chapel Hill Road before daybreak on Sunday and saw the driver move the truck to let the witness by.

At approximately 7 a.m., the witness heard what he believed to be a gunshot followed by an explosion approximately two minutes later, Bailey said.

As the witness was leaving the camp later that morning, he saw human remains burned up inside the truck and called 911, Bailey said.

News

Trash collection one day behind schedule for Thanksgiving

News

Ferriday man sentenced to life for 2019 slaying of Natchez schoolteacher

Business

Mayor: Silver Street raising and dock plans moving forward

News

Tree lighting event is Saturday in Natchez

News

Former Natchez Alderman David Massey dies at 72

News

Stewpot ready to serve needy on Thanksgiving

News

Saturday high-speed chase began in Louisiana, ended with crash in Natchez

News

No print edition of The Democrat on Friday

News

Natchez school board cancels bid opening for new high school due to COVID-19

News

5 Miss-Lou residents die of COVID-19 over weekend

News

Remains found in Natchez neighborhood

News

The Dart: Natchez resident loves music

News

Coroner: A Natchez woman dies with COVID-19 Sunday

DEVELOPING NEWS

Suspect in high-speed vehicle chase arrested in Natchez

BREAKING NEWS

Natchez Police investigating Saturday shooting that injured two people

News

Coroner: Two Ferriday men died with COVID-19 Saturday at Merit Health Natchez

News

Natchez freedmen and women largely funded Emancipation Monument in Washington, D.C.

News

Adams County coroner loses 25-year-old granddaughter to COVID-19, urges compliance with health guidelines

News

35-year-old Ferriday resident dies with COVID-19 as cases, hospitalizations continue rising

News

‘American Pickers’ star Mike Wolfe picks Natchez

News

COVID-19 numbers spike locally just before holidays

News

Norm Yvon resigns as lead administrator of Cathedral School

BREAKING NEWS

ACCS falls to Leake Academy in MAIS Class 5A state championship

News

Second suspect arrested in Tuesday armed robbery