Mississippi deputies find explosive device in car while responding to report of elder abuse

Published 3:06 pm Wednesday, June 14, 2023

An explosive device was found in a vehicle by Mississippi deputies while they were responding to reports of the alleged abuse of an 81-year-old woman.


Officials from the Lee County Sheriff’s Office report that the improvised explosive device was found inside a vehicle at a gas station on Barnes Crossing Road in Tupelo.

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Deputies were responding to reports of an alleged abuse of an elderly woman when they went to the Tupelo Texaco gas station just east of Cracker Barrel.

The 81-year-old woman, identified as Dianne Cotton, was living out of a vehicle with her son, Michael Foster. Officials say the two people were classified as homeless.

When deputies reportedly found Foster, 58, with methamphetamine, they found the explosive device inside the vehicle not far away from where Cotton was seated. The device had some wiring and was attached to a stopwatch.

A bomb squad was called to the scene. The device was removed and detonated by the bomb squad.

Cotton was taken to the hospital for evaluation.

Foster was taken into custody and charged with possession of crystal methamphetamine as well as misdemeanor warrants. Other charges may be pending, officials said.

Foster has had numerous previous charges, including armed robbery and other drug charges, officials said.

The investigation is ongoing.