Three arrested for murder of Mississippi man who remains missing since July

Published 6:52 am Thursday, May 6, 2021

Although officials haven’t been able to find a Mississippi man missing since July, police believe that have found who is responsible for his disappearance and death.

Lowndes County investigators have arrested three people in what they believe to be the murder of Columbus resident James Ryan Taylor.

Joseph Lane Purcell, 29, and Allan Michael Farley, 27, have both been charged with murder and Deborah Johnston, 55, has been charged with accessory after the fact in connection with Taylor’s case.

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Purcell and Farley are in Lowndes County Adult Detention Center on no bond, while Johnston is in custody on a $100,000 bond.

Investigators say news tips from the community led them to suspect foul play was involved and that they had received enough information to establish probable cause to make arrests.

Taylor was last seen on July 14, 2020, by family members. He was reported missing to the Columbus Police Department, which has been searching for him near where he was last seen at the Plaza Hotel in Columbus the same night.

The family offered a $5,000 reward for information on Taylor’s whereabouts in February.

The case remains under investigation. Authorities are asking anyone with information to call LCSO at 662-328-6788 or Golden Triangle Crime Stoppers at 800-530-7151 or leave a tip for law enforcement on the P3 phone application.