The cold case murder of Flynt Lee - Simpson County, Mississippi - August 3, 2009

On the late evening of August 4, 2009, a motorist on Mississippi Highway 13 reported that a truck was on fire a few miles outside of Mendenhall. The town's volunteer firefighters soon arrived and extinguished the blaze. It concerned a truck that had driven off the highway into a ravine. The driver was nowhere to be found, but the fact that the driver's side appeared to have been shot at did not bode well. The owner of the vehicle turned out to be a 44-year-old chicken farmer named Willie Flynt Lee, who was also a former volunteer firefighter.

Flynt had gone missing the day before and his family was deeply concerned for his well-being. Especially now that his truck had been found with bullet holes in the door. The search for the man ended a day after his truck was found. Flynt's wife's brother-in-law, Charles Earl, was driving around the area when his gut told him to stop on the bridge. When he looked down on the bridge, he saw Flynt's body floating in the Strong River.

A pathologist determined that Flynt had died from a gunshot wound to his torso. According to the coroner, he must have died instantly. The police already suspected that it was a crime, because they had found blood spatter on top of the bridge. They suspected that someone had thrown Flynt's body down. Now that the cause of death was known, the police knew for sure: it became a murder investigation.

Police Investigation
No skid marks were found at the location where the truck was found and the highway above. The police suspected that a day after he committed the crime, the killer deliberately set the car on fire and pushed it into the ravine. Thanks to the fire, much of the evidence had probably gone up in smoke. 

Police spend weeks questioning Flynt's family, friends and acquaintances. Who wanted to hurt him? Did he have enemies? What was going on in his life? All kinds of questions that mattered in the investigation.

Despite all their cooperation, they didn't get many clues. Flynt was last seen visiting the church the day before he was killed. The afternoon of the murder, his Chevrolett pickup truck was seen driving past his house, presumably it was the killer. The police's first suspect was Charles Earl. They thought it suspicious that he had found the body so quickly, and that he had gotten out of his car in exactly the right place to look into the river. His big mouth was also negatively noticed by the detectives. However, he was later cleared.

About four months after the murder, there was finally a breakthrough in the case. The Simpson and Rankin County detectives arrested three suspects on suspicion of involvement in the murder of Flynt Lee, burglary of a vehicle and grand larceny. They were 36-year-old Bryce Mills, 32-year-old Rodrick Gilbert and 25-year-old Christopher Hubbard. The arrestees came into the crosshairs of the police thanks to new information through Rankin County. At the time of the arrest, Sheriff Lewis reported that the murder may have been the result of a botched robbery attempt when Flynt had fallen asleep in his truck on the side of the road.

Hubbard, 25, made a confession in which he admitted to being involved in the murder, along with the two other suspects. He and Roger Gilbert were charged with Lee's murder, but when Hubbard suddenly recanted his confession, prosecutors couldn't get the case closed. All three were eventually released due to lack of evidence...

Information and Tips
Flynt Lee's murder remains unsolved due to the recantation of the confession. Police and Flynt's family hope there are people who know more about the crime. Perhaps the three suspects have told their story to someone. Is that you? Do you know more? Please let us know now (anonymously) so that the matter can finally be resolved. Don't hesitate and get in touch using the form below.

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