Jackson County

‘I’m hopeful I’ll find him alive.’ Coast mother asks for help finding missing son.

A Pascagoula man is missing and his mother is pleading with the public for tips to find him.

Shawn Martin, 26, was last heard from on March 21. That’s when his mother, Leah Kimble said, said a friend called and spoke to Martin while he was gassing up his car on Mississippi 63 in Moss Point.

Martin, she said, was headed to Atlanta and the friend called to find out if he had made it there yet.

Police have since found Martin’s green GMC Yukon abandoned off Magnolia Street in Moss Point.

“It’s very difficult right now, but I’m hopeful I’ll find him alive,” his mother said Thursday. “I’m heartbroken right now because I haven’t seen him or heard his voice for so long.”

Martin lived with his mother at her Pascagoula home, though she said he’d sometimes stay at a motel for a few days. He usually headed to Atlanta to visit friends when he went on out-of-town trips.

Moss Point Police Chief Brandon Ashley said the case is being treated as a missing person.

“There is no telling what is going on,” he said. “We have sent out information on him to agencies from here to Atlanta. He is not technically missing from Moss Point, but we are checking and coordinating with other agencies to find him.”

Police, Ashley said, said they have issued warrants to obtain his cellphone records.

Reward offered

Kimble last saw her only son on March 18. She also spoke to him on the phone that Wednesday and everything seemed fine.

“He hadn’t told me of any issues he was having,” she said. “He told me he had to go out of town for the weekend. He didn’t say where he was going, but he generally went to Atlanta.”

Kimble and other friends have posted fliers around Jackson County, and they are offering up to a $10,000 reward for information leading to his whereabouts.

His mother is pleading with the public to call in “credible” tips that will help authorities find her son.

“We don’t want a lot of suspicions,” she said. “We only want credible information called in.”

‘Still a good kid’

Kimble described her only son as “fun-loving” and the kind of guy who liked to tell jokes and help people out when they were in a bind.

“If somebody needed something and he had it, he’d give it to you,” she said. “If you needed to borrow his vehicle, he’d let you have it, but he was a little too trusting in people. Like me, he always wanted to see the good in people even if they were bad.”

Martin attended Pascagoula High School and later obtained his GED. He was not working at the time of his disappearance, but had worked most recently helping with hurricane cleanup in Panama City, Florida.

Over the years, Martin has had run-ins with the law, but Kimble said her son was doing better these days.

“Most of the people in town knew him,” she said. “Even though he’s had some issues with the law, he was still a good kid. He just made some bad choices some time ago. He loved to joke and he loved his family.”

His mother said she’s concerned for his safety because it’s rare for him to go for days with talking to anyone by phone or in person.

In the meantime, she said, her family has been out and about asking questions and searching for him.

To report information, call the Moss Point Police Department at 228-475-1711 or Mississippi Coast Crime Stoppers at 877-787-5898.

More missing people

Two Coast teens also were announced as missing Thursday by law enforcement agencies. Their cases are not related to Martin.

Dangel Octavia Willis, 15, was last seen March 25 in Gulfport, and her father reported her missing as a runaway, Biloxi police say. She is 5’4” and 115 pounds and may be near Gulfport Mist Apartments.

A 15-year-old boy also was reported missing in Biloxi, but police said Thursday afternoon he had been found.

Anyone with information on the teens can call Biloxi police at 228-435-6112 or 228-392-0641.

Margaret Baker is an investigative reporter whose search for truth exposed corrupt sheriffs, a police chief and various jailers and led to the first prosecution of a federal hate crime for the murder of a transgendered person. She worked on the Sun Herald’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Hurricane Katrina team. When she pursues a big story, she is relentless.