A pregnant Mississippi woman due to give birth on July 4 was found dead Monday, days after she vanished on her way to her baby’s father, officials said.
Makayla Winston, 21, was last seen leaving her home in Goodman, north of Jackson, Holmes County Sheriff Willie March told CNN.
Borrowing her mother Yvetty Brown’s car, Winston planned to see the father of her unborn child to show him a sonogram about 9 p.m. Thursday, Brown said.
Investigators found the vehicle abandoned off Highway 14, near Interstate 55, the following day. Its keys were still in the ignition and in the grass authorities found a cellphone they determined had been “cleaned up,” March told WCSC.
March said officials were trying to learn what was erased from the phone, and were also investigating who may have been with Winston before she vanished.
“We understood that there was a white vehicle parked behind her, kind of like an SUV. But no one knows who was driving the SUV,” March said.
Officials immediately noted they suspected foul play. The Mississippi Bureau of Investigation was also involved in the search for Winston.
“She was a quiet person,” Brown said while authorities continued to search to find her daughter. “She didn’t hang out. Mostly, she was around family. I just want my baby home.”
But by Monday, law enforcement had a gruesome update in the case, as Winston’s body was found about 5 miles from where her car was discovered, March said.
Her body was taken to the state crime lab in Jackson to determine the cause of death, he told CNN.