7-year-old cold case file reopens in Noxubee County

NOXUBEE COUNTY, Miss. (WCBI) – A major development has now surfaced in a seven-year-old cold case that has left law enforcement and the community baffled for years.

Winston, It’s been a long seven years since this case first made headlines in Noxubee County, but the Sheriff’s Department has teamed up with the Mississippi Bureau of Investigations to conduct a proper investigation of what happened to Lucy Wilborn Townsend.

WCBI first reported almost eight years ago that Lucy Wilborn Townsend was last seen walking down Highway 14 toward the intersection of Simmons and Hill Road on July 23, 2015.

This is about a seven to 10-minute walk from her home on Lucy Wilborn Road.

Townsend walked to the Neighborhood Crossroads daily.

When a concerned neighbor didn’t see Townsend at her normal spot, he did some investigating of his own.

“I was used to seeing Lucy all the time,” said Maurice Moore. “And in no time did we see her. I think I saw her early that morning, and I did not see her again after that. And the neighbor who she always goes and visits, had not seen her. So that’s totally unusual.”

After waiting about eight hours for Townsend to show up, he called 911 for an officer’s help.

“We went to the house but there was no one there. Well, there were some people there but she wasn’t. So then that’s when we said something was wrong,” said Moore.

Since the disappearance, a new administration is now exploring all avenues that may lead to new information in finding Lucy Townsend.

Noxubee County Sheriff Investigator, Douglas Triplett, explained the first steps in investigating a missing person’s case.

“When a person goes missing, then the first people you talk to is the family, close family,” Triplett said. “You get a statement. ‘Have you seen your mama, what was she doing this morning, what was she doing this evening, what she did do, what did you do?’ Then, you get to her friend next, the one she sits at the crossroads with. And ask ‘Did she come to the crossroad that day, what time did she leave, did anybody pick her up from the crossroads, did she walk back?’ None of those questions were asked. Or evidently, it wasn’t written down.”

Triplett said he hopes reopening the case will finally bring some closure to the victim’s family.

“Open it back up to see if we can get some help from the public and the local authorities to get an answer,” he said. “Cause I know everybody’s family wants an answer to why, when, what. They want answers.”

The Noxubee County Sheriff’s Department is still searching for another missing person.

Noxubee County Sheriff Department Investigators stated that Kenneth Reed went missing on February 12, 2023, while he was visiting his father and grandfather that lives in Shuqualak, Miss. Kenneth Reed was wearing black shorts, a hunter-green t-shirt, and black slides at the time of his disappearance. If anyone has any Information on the whereabouts of Kenneth Reed, please call the Noxubee County Sheriff’s Department at (662)726-5133 or Crime Stoppers.

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