Robbery may have been motive in roadside killings

Tom Schlender
Tom Schlender

(WMC-TV) - New details have emerged in two roadside killings as authorities hunt down the highway murderer.

Authorities are looking at robbery as a possible motive in the roadside killings, and information from one of the victim's families seems to support that.

Seventy-four-year-old Tom Schlender of Nebraska was shot and killed on I-55 in Panola County.  His family revealed Schlender's wallet was gone from his pickup truck after the murder.

His family obtained bank records and found he withdrew $600 before a trip from Nebraska to Florida to bring his grandson home from college.

The family would not say whether there has been any activity on Schlender's account since the murder.

The second victim, 48-year-old Lori Carswell, will be laid to rest Thursday.

Carswell was found shot last Friday night along Highway 713 in Tunica County.  She was on her way home to Hernando after leaving her job at Fitzgerald Casino.

Carswell's funeral will be held at 2 p.m. Thursday at Forest Hill South Cemeteries on East Holmes Road in Memphis.  The entombment will follow at the cemetery's mausoleum.

The suspect is believed to be responsible for two highway deaths in North Mississippi.  Investigators said both victims were randomly picked and possibly pulled over by the killer using fake police lights in a light-colored Ford Crown Victoria.

Investigators are getting hundreds of tips and following up on them every day as they search for the killer.

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