Southaven murder suspect arrested nearly 200 miles away

By Chip Washington - bio | email

SOUTHAVEN, MS (WMC-TV) - Only seven days into the new year, Southaven Police are investigating the city's first homicide of 2010.

According to Southaven Police Chief Tom Long, the body of 62-year old Selwyn McDow was found Thursday in McDow's home on Pear Cove. Long said neighbors had reported her missing several days earlier.

Investigators said the attack was brutal, and police think McDow may have been killed by a man who lived with her.

"The autopsy results are not conclusive, but preliminary reports indicates she was stabbed multiple times," Long said.

Police arrested a suspect, Thomas Parker, very early Friday morning at a hotel in Louisville, Mississippi - 185 miles from the murder scene.  At the time, Parker was in McDow's vehicle.

Parker is charged with first degree murder. According to Long, police had been looking for him in connection with another crime.

"We actually had an outstanding warrant for him and had been by the residence to serve him on a warrant for a petty larceny offense," Long said.

Hunter Keith has been a neighbor and friend of McDow for the last five years. She said McDow would take people in from time to time to help them out.

"She was a nice person," Keith said. "She had problems she had to deal with that mostly weren't even her fault. She was strong."

Parker was transported back to DeSoto County, where he his being held without bond.  Long said it is possible charges against Parker could be upgraded to capitol murder, if evidence warrants.

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