OAKLAND — Law enforcement agencies in Tallahatchie and Yalobusha counties are pursuing leads in the death of a Coffeeville woman who was found shot to death on a gravel road near here early Thursday.
Tallahatchie County Coroner Ginger Meriwether identified the victim as Hallie Mae Sapp Robertson, 42, of 9509 County Road 212.
“It appears she was shot one time in the head,” said Meriwether, who noted that the death “is being treated as a homicide” and that an autopsy will be conducted at the Mississippi Forensics Laboratory in Pearl.
Tallahatchie County Sheriff Jimmy Fly said Robertson’s fully-clothed body was discovered shortly before 4 a.m. by deputies with the Yalobusha County Sheriff’s Department who were responding to a report of gunfire in the area.
“Yalobusha County received the call about it originally,” said Fly, who noted that arriving lawmen soon realized the body was on the other side of the county line. “Tallahatchie County got the call at 4:04 and we were on the scene at 4:30.”
The body was found directly behind Oakland 1 Stop convenience store, which is situated along Highway 32 in Tallahatchie County but is just a heavy stone’s throw from the Yalobusha line.
The body lay on a graveled section of Pine Hill Road, in Tallahatchie County, mere feet from where that road intersects with the graveled Pine Street in Yalobusha County.
Shattered fragments of automotive glass littered the roadway at the site.
Fly said a 9 mm shell casing and a cellphone were found near the body. Ownership of the phone is pending verification, he added.
While officials were investigating the crime scene behind the store, news came that Robertson’s vehicle, a 2017 Ford Escape, had been located along Spruce Street in southeast Oakland. A passerby had spotted the abandoned SUV, its driver side door window broken out, and notified authorities.
Looking inward, lawmen were able to see “some blood inside the vehicle,” said Fly.
The sheriff said the automobile, registered to Robertson, was towed and secured, awaiting transport to the state Crime Lab in Batesville for processing by agents with the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation.
Fly said lawmen in both counties have been following up on leads.
“We’ve had a lot of help from Yalobusha County Sheriff’s Department and the Oakland Police Department, because a lot of this has been over in Oakland,” he noted. “I definitely want to say I appreciate their help in this.”