Crime

Biloxi police identify man who died weeks before being found in Vancleave woods

A Biloxi man whose remains were found in Vancleave had been dead more than five weeks before his body was found off a rural road, an official said.

Harold Douglas Turberville Jr., 55, of Pensacola, Florida, died at an apartment he shared in Biloxi with one of the men accused of removing his body and dumping it in woods off a Vancleave road, Biloxi police Maj. Christopher De Back said Monday.

De Back released Turberville’s name Monday after announcing the arrest of a third man on charges of tampering with physical evidence and taking a motor vehicle.

Turberville died Nov. 13, but it’s unclear how exactly long his remains had been hidden in Vancleave.

A motive for moving the body remains unclear, De Back said.

Turberville had been staying at the apartment of John William Carrick, who lives in the 200 block of Couevas Street, De Back said. The neighborhood is north of Esters Boulevard between Caillavet and Bohn streets.

The third suspect, Steven Wilson Mandeville of Biloxi, turned himself in Monday, De Back said.

A Jackson County worker found the remains in woods about 8 a.m. Dec. 19 about 50 yards from Seaman Road near Jim Ramsay Road. Seaman, east of Mississippi 57, is a shortcut from Vancleave to the Latimer community.

Jeffrey Tyler Witt, 45, also is accused of leaving the body in Vancleave, and of stealing the victim’s vehicle. Witt lives in Ocean Springs, where Turberville’s vehicle was found.

Biloxi police arrested Witt and Carrick on Jan. 10 and announced the death was not a homicide.

Witt remained in custody Monday at the Harrison County jail on charges of tampering with physical evidence and taking a motor vehicle. His bonds on the charges, both felonies, total $75,000.

Mandeville, 61, of Biloxi, was being held on the same bonds as Witt.

Carrick, who faces only the tampering charge, was released from jail Jan. 12 on a $5,000 bond.

De Back said the investigation continues.

Crime Stoppers is a non-profit that is helping local law enforcement fight crime.

Robin Fitzgerald covers real-time news, such as crime, public safety and trending stories. In nearly 40 years as a journalist, her highest honors include investigative awards for covering the aftermath of the fatal beating of a Harrison County jail inmate in 2006 and related civil rights violations. She is a Troy University graduate.


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