Man dies from injuries, investigators still seeking answers

By JAMIE PATTERSON,

A Yazoo City man who was found seriously injured last week has died, and police are still looking for answers about what happened.

Billy Ray Peeples, known by may Yazoo City residents as “the Peanut Man” for his long history of selling boiled peanuts around town, died Thursday afternoon at University Medical Center in Jackson.

Investigators are urging the public to come forward with any information about where Peeples was or who he was with around the time he was injured.

Police Chief Ron Sampson said the scene where Peeples was found unresponsive has been thoroughly processed, but the question remains as to what happened that led to his head injuries.

“This is a high priority case for us,” Sampson said. “We are processing it as if it were a crime scene, but by not being able to talk to the victim, we just don’t know. We are in the dark. We can’t find any information that tells us who the victim was with last, where was the last place he was or what time. We are pleading that if anyone knows that information, call us.”

Peeples was discovered June 11 inside a Jerry Clower Boulevard building with head wounds after friends reported last seeing him the previous Friday. An investigation soon began to determine if his injuries were from an assault or an accident.

“The scene was processed from the time of the original call we received that Monday,” Sampson said. “Detectives have returned to the scene, canvassed the area and went door to door in the area.”

Sampson also said the victim was found with two large gashes on his head.

“We don’t believe they are stab wounds,” Sampson said. “It doesn’t look to be any puncture wounds. But we are still looking for anything that may have been used to strike him.”

Sampson said no weapon was found at the scene, but detectives did find a wallet. He also said investigators have also located his cell phone.

“We are going through his phone records to determine what information we can retrieve from that,” Sampson said. “We also conducted a long interview with the friend who discovered the victim. But he wasn’t able to provide any information to piece this together.”

As of press time, the victim was unresponsive at a Jackson hospital.

Sampson said there are a few pieces of information that investigators are keeping confidential as to not hinder the investigation.

Sampson urges anyone with any information to call the police department at 746-1131.