Crime

He was wanted for questioning after a body was found in Gulfport. He turned up out of state.

Cornell Smith
Cornell Smith Escambia County jail

Pass Christian police asked for the public's help finding a man wanted for questioning in a murder case and suspected in an aggravated assault. They found him Thursday morning in Escambia County, Florida, Pass Christian Police Chief Timothy Hendricks said.

Cornell Smith is wanted for questioning in the Feb. 1 killing of Kenneth Charlot.

"It is believed that he may have significant and notable information about the crime," Hendricks said.

No other details regarding Smith's arrest were available at noon Thursday.

Charlot's body was found in the area of 30th Avenue and 23rd Street in Gulfport on Feb. 2 after the 60-year-old was reported missing the night before. According to previous reports, Charlot's family reported him missing after they noticed his home on Seal Avenue "did not look right."

In addition, Smith is accused of physically assaulting someone Feb. 11 on Seal Avenue "to the extent that the victim was hospitalized with substantial head and and facial injuries," Hendricks said.

Smith was previously arrested Nov. 21 on charges of armed robbery and burglary from a 2016 home invasion. He was released from jail the next day on bonds totaling $200,000.

In that case, Hendricks said Smith turned himself in after about 18 months.

“Cornell Smith knew we were looking for him,” Hendricks said in November. “For the first several months, we were beating the bushes, going to a lot of family members’ homes and at residences where we knew he hanged out.”

Sun Herald reporter Robin Fitzgerald contributed to this report.

Patrick Ochs: 228-896-2326, @patrickochs
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