After a 36-year-old woman went missing in Mississippi, the investigation into her disappearance has now turned into a murder investigation with her husband becoming the prime suspect, authorities in Mississippi said.
Ebony Owens’ family reported the mother of four missing on March 15 after she failed to show up for work, Hinds County Sheriff Tyree Jones said during a Thursday press conference.
The sheriff also announced that Owens’ husband, Michael Owens, was wanted for questioning in connection with his wife’s disappearance. Hours later, Michael was found and interviewed, then authorities charged him with murder and arson.
It’s not immediately clear if Michael has entered a plea or retained an attorney to speak on his behalf.
Authorities believe Ebony was shot and killed and are conducting a search for her body at the Big Black River on Old Highway 80 between the Hinds and Warren County lines, the sheriff wrote on Facebook.
The sheriff said at the conference that electronic evidence suggested Ebony was last known to be in the Clinton area on Tuesday night, which is about 18 miles east of her home in Edwards, where officers responded to a welfare check on Wednesday. Her car was also nowhere to be found.
The next morning, first responders came across a burning white Acura along Old Highway 80 and Jones Road.
“Initially, the vehicle fire, that was yesterday morning, we didn’t even know who that vehicle belonged to, we didn’t know the make [or] model, ownership of the vehicle, or anything, ” Jones told reporters. “We just had a burned vehicle.”
“So when deputies responded to the residence for the welfare check, they were able to link it,” the sheriff added.
Jones said they later found a license plate in the woods near where the car was found, and determined that the vehicle belonged to Ebony. He also noted that evidence suggested the car was intentionally set on fire.
Investigators confirmed that evidence linked to Owens’s disappearance was recovered from an apartment at the Ridgeland Ranch Apartments. A car was also reportedly towed from the property.
The sheriff said Ebony’s children are being looked after by family members.
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