Crime

Navy man caught ride to Keesler after Dee Whigham’s death; officials seek driver

Surveillance footage at a St. Martin service station shows Dwanya Hickerson catching a ride in a white pickup truck about 30 minutes after Dee Whigham was stabbed to death in a nearby hotel room, Jackson County Investigator Chris Stratton said. And officials need the public’s help to identify the driver.

Whigham, a transgender woman from Shubuta, was staying with friends at the Best Western Inn & Suites in St. Martin.

On Saturday night, a friend found Whigham stabbed to death. Whigham’s mother, Vickie Whigham, told the Sun Herald the family was not able to see her body because of the “deep” stab wounds on Dee Whigham’s face.

Hickerson, a 20-year-old Navy seaman in training at Keesler Air Force Base, was arrested Monday morning on a charge of capital murder. Jackson County officials say Hickerson robbed Dee Whigham and stabbed her to death. Jackson County Court Judge T. Larry Wilson on Wednesday ordered Hickerson remain jailed without bond at an initial court appearance.

A hotel surveillance system captured images of a man, later identified as Hickerson, walking in a hallway at the hotel at 8:35 p.m. July 23. He was wearing a green shirt and carrying a backpack.

At 8:58 p.m., another photo captured him leaving, but his shirt was off and hanging around his neck.

Between 9 and 9:30 p.m., cameras at the Kangaroo store at the intersection of Washington Avenue and Seaman Road captured footage of Hickerson getting into a white GMC pickup truck.

“He flagged down a ride from the Kangaroo store,” Stratton said. “We just need to ID who was driving, if possible.”

Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of the vehicle or the identity of the driver should call the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department at 769-3063 or Investigator Leo Allen at 875-0292.

Justin Mitchell: 228-604-0705, @Journalism_J

Sun Herald reporter Margaret Baker contributed to this report.

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