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APNewsBreak: Authorities have arrested a suspect in deadly highway shootings in Mississippi
JACKSON, Miss. (AP) ' Authorities in Mississippi said early Friday they have arrested a suspect in two fatal highway shootings that happened late at night along desolate stretches.
James D. Willie, 28, was being held on charges of kidnapping, aggravated assault and rape and would be formally charged with two counts of capital murder, Mississippi Department of Public Safety spokesman Warren Strain told The Associated Press.
Willie was being held at the Tunica County jail in north Mississippi.
Willie had not been posing as a police officer in the shootings as authorities previously thought, Strain said.
Willie was arrested Tuesday morning when authorities responded to a disturbance at an apartment. Tunica police found Willie with a woman who claimed he had raped her, a news release said. When Willie was arrested, authorities found a 9mm Ruger in his possession. Testing later found that it was the same gun used in the two highway shootings, authorities said.
Thomas Schlender, 74, of Raymond, Neb., was found dead in his car on Interstate 55 in Panola County on May 8 around 1:30 a.m. Lori Anne Carswell, 48, of Hernando, Miss. was found dead near her car on Mississippi Highway 713 in nearby Tunica County about 2:15 a.m. on May 11.
Mississippi law enforcement agencies had warned motorists someone may be posing as an officer because the shooting victims had no obvious reason to be stopped on the interstate where they were found.