A nationwide manhunt is underway for a Mississippi man accused of killing his girlfriend and shooting a second woman as she jogged Friday morning.
Alex Bridges Deaton, 28, of Brandon, is also a person of interest in the slaying of a third woman, according to authorities. Though no charges have been filed in that case, Deaton has been charged with first-degree murder in the death of 30-year-old Heather Robinson and aggravated assault in the shooting of the jogger.
“Something inside him appears to have snapped,” Rankin County Sheriff Bryan Bailey said, according to WLBT in Jackson.
The Mississippi Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Marshals have joined local authorities in the search for Deaton, who is described as a white man standing 5 feet, 9 inches tall and weighing 170 pounds. He has brown hair and hazel eyes.
His last known location was in the Tulsa, Oklahoma, area, WLBT reported. His last known contact with anyone was a text message to his mother Saturday morning.
Deaton is considered to be armed and dangerous.
Bailey’s office reported on its Facebook page that Rankin County deputies were called around 5 a.m. Friday to the scene of a shooting in which the female victim said she was jogging when a white man with facial hair drove up in a small white SUV and shot her from his open driver’s side window, the bullet striking her in the thigh.
It was around 4:20 p.m. that same day that a deputy, along with a concerned family member, went to Robinson’s apartment for a welfare check and found her dead, the Sheriff’s Office said. WJTV in Jackson reported Monday that Robinson, who was described as Deaton’s girlfriend, is believed to have been strangled.
Robinson’s cellphone and white 2012 GMC Arcadia SUV were missing, the Sheriff’s Office said. The SUV bears Mississippi Nurses Foundation tag number F396 NF.
Robinson was a registered nurse who worked at a hospital near Jackson, according to her Facebook page.
Deaton became a suspect in both cases because of the proximity of the two crime scenes, which are about a mile apart, as well as his resemblance to the suspected shooter, the similarity of the vehicle in each case and physical evidence found at the scene of the shooting.
Deaton is also a person of interest in the death of Brenda Pinter, 69, who was found shot to death Thursday evening in Dixon Baptist Church in Philadelphia, about 75 miles from Brandon in Neshoba County. According to the Clarion-Ledger, Pinter went to the church to do some cleaning.
Her husband found her body after she failed to return home, the newspaper said.
Neshoba County Sheriff Tommy Waddell told WLBT that surveillance footage from the church showed Pinter arriving around 4 p.m. on the afternoon she died. A short time later, a white SUV pulled into the parking lot and stayed for several minutes before leaving.
Waddell told the news station that investigators know “without any doubt at all” that the SUV was the only vehicle to enter the parking lot between that time and the time Pinter’s husband found her body.
There was no known connection between Pinter and Deaton, though Waddell said that Deaton has family in the Philadelphia area and has worked there in the past.
A reward for information leading to Deaton’s arrest has been increased to $27,000, the Rankin County Sheriff’s Office said. Anyone with information on his whereabouts can call Crime Stoppers at 601-355-TIPS (8477), submit a tip online through the Web Tip link on the home page of the Central MS Crime Stoppers website or use a computer or mobile device to submit a tip at P3tips.com.
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