The body that Hancock County sheriff's deputies discovered at a hunting ground off Texas Flat Road on July 17 has been positively identified as missing Picayune man Willie Ray Jones.
Hancock County Chief Deputy Jeremy Skinner said at the time that the body was discovered while authorities assisted the Pearl River County Sheriff’s Department and Picayune Police Department in a search of the area. The body was sent to the state medical examiner's office in Pearl for identification.
Pearl River County Coroner Derek Turnage told reporters Thursday that the remains were positively identified as Jones. The cause of death was confirmed to be multiple gunshot wounds, officials said.
Jones, 28, was last seen in Picayune on July 6. Two suspects in the case -- husband-and-wife Dustin Gray, 24, and Erica Gray, 21 -- were arrested in Colorado on July 17 on unrelated charges of possessing stolen firearms. A third suspect, Austin Brookshire, was also arrested on July 17 on a murder warrant in Jones' death.
Court records show that on July 21, Dustin Gray was charged with first-degree murder and Erica Gray was arrested for being an accessory after the fact of murder. They are still incarcerated in Colorado, awaiting extradition to Pearl River County.
Investigators are also probing the circumstances of a fire on July 14 that destroyed the Picayune office of Dustin Gray's father, attorney Jim Gray. The fire was determined to be an arson case, and a reward for information that leads to an arrest in the case is being offered through Mississippi Coast Crime Stoppers, which can be reached at 1-877-787-5898.
Anyone with information related to Jones’ death can contact the Picayune Police Department at 601-798-7411, 601-337-6544, or 601-916-9411.