Harrison County

Body found in missing Pascagoula woman’s car, police chief confirms

Billie Jean Harris
Billie Jean Harris

A woman’s body has been found in the car of a Pascagoula woman who was reported missing May 31, Long Beach Chief Wayne McDowell confirmed.

The body and car were found about 1 a.m. Sunday, about 40 miles from Pascagoula, in a store parking lot on Cleveland Avenue near Railroad Street, McDowell said.

He declined to say if the body inside the gold 1997 Ford Escort was that of Billie Jean Harris, who was last seen driving that type of car.

“We are leaving that up to the coroner,” McDowell said.

The body and car were found after the Pascagoula Police Department contacted Long Beach police and told them where they were believed to be, he said.

McDowell declined to say exactly where they were found. Businesses in that area include Winn-Dixie, Advance Auto Parts and Smokey’s Discount Tobacco.

Harris had been seen at the Walmart in Pascagoula between 4 and 5 p.m. Wednesday. Pascagoula police released a picture of Harris to the media on Friday.

McDowell said Harrison County Coroner Gary Hargrove will identify the body and contact the family before releasing the woman’s name.

“It’s still early in the investigation,” McDowell said when asked if foul play is suspected.

SunHerald.com will update this report when details develop.

Robin Fitzgerald: 228-896-2307, @robincrimenews