Police departments: Case of missing Mississippi college student isolated does not indicate larger threat to LGBTQ+ community
Published 6:30 am Saturday, August 13, 2022
Two police departments have issued public statements refuting claims that the ongoing investigation of a missing University of Mississippi college student indicates a larger threat to LGBTQ+ community.
The Oxford Police Department and University Police Department issued a public statement denying that the Jimmie “Jay” Lee case implicates a larger threat to the LGBTQ+ community.
Lee, a University of Mississippi student who went missing on July 8, was suspected to have been murdered by fellow student and romantic partner Sheldon Timothy “Tim” Herrington, Jr.
During Herrington’s bond hearing, authorities said the two met at Herrington’s apartment for a romantic encounter on the morning of July 8.
OPD Detective Ryan Baker said a locator placed Lee within 120 feet of Herrington’s apartment around 6 a.m. that day. However, authorities were not able to find signs of Lee after his meeting with Herrington.
Investigators gathered evidence implicating Herrington in the murder of Lee, however, Lee’s remains have yet to be found.
The public has expressed concerns that Lee was targeted due to him being an openly gay man and that others in the LGBTQ+ community could be harmed as well.
However, OPD and UPD’s joint statement said investigators do not believe that to be true.
“Based on the information collected to date, our investigators believe this crime represents an isolated incident stemming from the relationship between Jay Lee and Tim Herrington Jr.,” said the statement. “We do not believe this incident reflects a larger threat to our LGBTQ+ community.”
“More broadly, we want to stress that our agencies are committed to doing all that we can to maintain a safe environment for everyone in our community,” the release concluded.