Laura Ann Rutledge was taken into the woods near her house, likely in the dark of night, hands tied behind her back.
Beaten and stabbed repeatedly, the 35-year-old woman took her last breaths in those woods. Her body was discovered Friday, wrapped in a sheet and covered with a blanket.
Her husband, Mike Brian Rutledge, 22, has been charged with capital murder in her death.
The couple was in the middle of a divorce.
After his wife's death, Mike Rutledge reportedly told two people "he had killed this girl and left her in the woods," said Michael Ramsey, Booneville chief of police.
Last Thursday, a Booneville patrol officer got a tip that a body was in the woods. Officers and investigators searched an area east of the train tracks in the Booneville city limits all day Thursday to no avail.
Three people, including Rutledge, were taken into the police station for questioning.
"While here, we got a confession from Mr. Rutledge and, also, he led us the body that was left out in the woods," Ramsey said.
Laura Rutledge's body was found Friday on the opposite side of the train tracks where investigators had been searching.
"We were actually pretty close earlier Thursday," Ramsey said.
Police have recovered what they believe are the two murder weapons — a "pretty good size" stick and a hunting knife.
Of the stick, Ramsey said, "it appears he had picked it up out in the woods and probably struck her several times."
A preliminary autopsy stated blunt force trauma and sharp force trauma to her head and upper body as the cause of death.
Rutledge is charged with capital murder because police believe his wife's death occurred in the middle of a kidnapping, a felony.
"Her hands were tied behind her back when we recovered her body, so it's our belief that he probably tied her up and was holding her against her will," Ramsey said.
It is unclear if the killing took place Monday night or early Tuesday morning.
At the time police discovered her body Friday, Laura Rutledge had not been reported missing.
Mike Rutledge had an initial appearance in Booneville Municipal Court where he was denied bond. Attorney Greg Meyer was appointed as his public defender, according to court records. Meyer could not be reached for comment Monday.
Mike Rutledge is in the Prentiss County Jail, according to jail personnel.
He has a hold on him from the Mississippi Department of Corrections for probation violation from a prior burglary charge.
Ramsey said prior to Rutledge's arrest, police were familiar with the couple.
When asked if law enforcement had ever responded to the couple's home on a domestic violence call, Ramsey said, "We have had dealings with both of them, but nothing this serious."
A restraining order was not in place against either party, Ramsey said.
Laura Rutledge had children, but the couple did not have any children together. It was unknown how long they had been married but they were separated at the time of her death, Ramsey said. Laura Rutledge and her children were staying in an apartment complex with her mother. The complex is is walking distance of where her body was found, Ramsey said.
The investigation is ongoing, Ramsey said, but police do not expect any further arrests in the incident.
This story was originally published by the Clarion-Ledger.