ARRESTED: Suspect wanted for kidnapping, murder after Mississippi man’s burned body found along road in custody

Published 5:30 am Thursday, April 18, 2024

A suspect wanted for allegedly kidnapping, murdering and burning the body of a Mississippi man in Copiah County has been captured in Adams County.

Adams County Sheriff Travis Patten said at approximately 5 p.m. his office was contacted by Copiah County Sheriff Byron Swilley about suspect Tyrell Bridges.

“Sheriff Swilley asked for our assistance in trying to locate the suspect. Sheriff Swilley sent over the arrest warrants for Bridges and that’s when we activated the Adams County Special Operations Group,” Patten said.

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“Within an hour of receiving the arrest warrants, the Special Operations Group was able to locate Bridges on Windy Hill Road in Natchez and take him into custody without incident,” Patten said. Patten joined the Special Operations Group in capturing Bridges.

Bridges was transported to the Adams County Sheriff’s Office where he was booked in as a fugitive from justice and will be turned over to the Copiah County Sheriff’s Office, Patten said.

The burned body of a missing man was found on the side of a Copiah County highway Monday. Swilley told the Brookhaven Daily Leader that a man came into his office Monday to report he had not seen his son since Saturday, and wanted to file a missing persons report. A few hours later, a Mississippi Department of Transportation crew discovered the burned body on Hwy. 472 near Rockport Road — northeast of Wesson and south of Georgetown. The body was identified as 54-year-old Billy Ray Jones Jr.

Matthew Nelson, 50, was arrested and charged with kidnapping and murder. Swilley told the Daily Leader Bridges was wanted on the same charges.

Bridges received early release from the Mississippi Department of Corrections in August 2023. In February of this year, he allegedly assaulted two victims, nearly beating one to death. Bridges has been on the run since that time.

“This is a very dangerous individual we took off the streets tonight,” Patten said. “This is another incident where the suspect chose the wrong county to hide in. I could not be more proud of the work that the men and women of the Adams County Sheriff’s Office do each and every day. The individual has stated in the past that he would not return to jail, yet the members of the Special Operations Group were able to capture Bridges without harm being done to him or themselves.

“I am simply proud to have them serve beside me in this community,” Patten said.