Sheriff: Mississippi woman kills ex-husband, self

Published 4:20 pm Thursday, May 6, 2021

Authorities have released the names of a man and woman found dead in an apparent murder-suicide at a home in Mississippi.

William Jerry Sumrall, 65, and his ex-wife, Frankie Leanne Sumrall, 56, were both found shot to death at a home in Russell, an unincorporated community about 7 miles (11.2 kilometers) east-northeast of Meridian.

Lauderdale County Sheriff Billy Sollie said Wednesday that crime scene investigators believe Frankie Sumrall killed William Sumrall then took her own life, news outlets reported. Sollie said the pair, though divorced, lived together.

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Sheriff’s deputies received a call Tuesday of a suspicious vehicle. Minutes later deputies received another call about an unresponsive and bleeding man lying at the edge of a driveway. When deputies arrived, Sumrall was found dead.

“All indications are that the issue occurred at the back of the house on the back-porch area.” Sollie said. “He ran approximately 30 yards from the house before he collapsed.”

Deputies then tried to contact Frankie Sumrall. When they couldn’t reach her they forced entry into the home and found her dead in the bedroom with a self-inflicted gunshot wound, authorities said.

Sollie encouraged people who are experiencing a mental health crisis to seek help.

“Any time a loss of life occurs, you have to ask, ‘Couldn’t you (have) talked to somebody?'” he said. “Couldn’t you have reached out and said you needed help?”

Autopsies have been scheduled to determine the official causes of death.