Father desperately seeks public help to locate missing son and Ole Miss student, FBI joins local law enforcement in search

A search for a missing college student has put an entire Mississippi community on high alert in hopes of finding him. The family have enlisted the help of local law enforcement to locate the 20-year-old, who went missing over a week ago.

The FBI’s Oxford Field Office and the Mississippi District Attorney’s Office have joined the Oxford Police Department and the Ole Miss University Police Department to locate Jimmie “Jay” Lee III, a student at the 178-year-old University of Mississippi.

MississippiToday.com MississippiToday.com missing poster of Ole Miss student

According to the WLBT, the FBI and AG office have pledged to provide “additional resources and assistance where necessary” to investigate his disappearance.

Lee was last seen on Friday July 8th leaving the Campus Walks Apartment at approximately 5:58am. Witnesses told police he was wearing a silver robe or dressing gown, a gold nightcap and gray slippers when he left the apartment, Clarion Ledger reports.

The last time the family was in contact with Lee was at 2 a.m., hours before she disappeared. He texted the matriarch to wish her a happy birthday.

The family realized something was wrong when Lee, a public policy major and community service attorney, missed his own public relations activation, a baby food fundraiser he organized as part of his internship at the Mississippi Department of Child Protection Services County performed in Lafayette later in the evening.

Later that night at 8:28 p.m., an incident report was filed with the UMPD.

It turned out that officer John Boyd went to Lee’s home that evening to do a social check, but wrote down “negative contact”.

Red and white posters, Lee’s family and local volunteers were posted across the city begging for his safe return. Bulletins were stuffed into cars and stapled across the town square or taped at Jackson Avenue bus shelters to draw attention to the young man.

On Tuesday, law enforcement obtained additional video footage, which is currently being reviewed, in the possibility that some evidence could lead to his whereabouts.

The young man, who appears to be gender-specific in some images, is said to have black and blonde hair and brown eyes, is 5ft 7 and weighs around 120lbs.

A member of OPD stated: “On Monday, July 11, Lee’s vehicle was recovered by a local towing company, who removed the car from the Molly Barr Trails apartment complex on Friday afternoon.”

A forensic team from the State Criminal Police Office is now examining the car and looking for clues.

Police believe Jay Lee may have been visiting someone at the Molly Barr Trails apartments before he went missing and as a result the car was towed from those premises.

The OPD has conducted “numerous” interviews with members of the community and has requested “around a dozen” search warrants, which it has “enforced on both physical and digital entities.”

Jay Lee’s family went through the nearby forest looking for evidence of their loved one. According to Sister Tayla Carey, they said they walked on and off the trails and left placards at important trail markers.

“We literally ran extensively through the woods screaming and shouting his name,” Carey said.

The nurse said the family also goes through the OPD steps looking for things that would be related to Lee, things that the police might or might not pick up.

The sister explained, “I know what earrings he wears, what jewelry.”

The search has expanded beyond Oxford and now extends to other areas such as Jackson, his hometown, and Hattiesburg.

Lee’s father, Jimmie Lee Jr., has asked the community to join the effort to find his song and asked if anyone has any information to share.

He said via a press release, “I want to thank my family and friends in the Jackson community for their efforts in helping me find my son.”

“I would also like to thank the Oxford Police and their commitment. I want everyone to know that my son is a hard worker,” he continued, sharing details about some of the passions his son had. “My son worked on a project to help provide baby food to needy children. Whether you are black or white my son would find a way to help if he saw the need.

Oxford Mayor Robyn Tannehill said she hoped “he’s found”.

“I’ve met him a few times while speaking on campus,” the mayor said of the student who asked to accompany her at City Hall or to practice with her. “He’s one of the nicest people I’ve met on campus. He was enthusiastic about what was happening in the city and building his resume. I hope he is found.”

She’s not the only one.

His sister has used her presence on Facebook to spread the word. Carey wrote, “Y’all PLEASE HELP US FIND MY BROTHER PLEASE SHARE.”

Jay Lee used his voice to help others and now many want to help him. Under the hashtag #JayLee, many on social media are digitally warning of his disappearance.

Activist Keith Antonio Bankston, an advocate for the black LGBT community in the area, said: “I pray for comfort and strength for Jaylee, friends and family, especially Jay’s sister Tayla Carey.”

Bankston added, “Lee has been a well-loved member and entertainer here in our LGBT community in Jackson.”

A brave young man, last fall he ran for homecoming king at the university.

The Daily Mississippian said it runs on the “self-love and live your truth” platform.

During his campaign, he celebrated the school by saying, “Ole Miss encompasses so many different cultures and backgrounds,” but wants it to do more to become an even more diverse and inclusive community.

CrimeStoppers has pledged $1,000 to anyone with a lead in finding Lee. Lee’s family upped the total bounty to $6,000 with their own pledge.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Oxford Police Department at (662) 232-2400, University Police at (662) 915-7234 or Crime Stoppers at (662) 234-8477. Information and tips can also be shared via social media: Facebook: @OxfordMSPolice or @OleMissPolice or Twitter: @OxfordPolice or @OleMissPolice.

https://atlantablackstar.com/2022/07/21/father-makes-desperate-plea-for-publics-help-to-find-missing-son-and-ole-miss-student-fbi-joins-local-law-enforcement-in-search/ Father desperately seeks public help to locate missing son and Ole Miss student, FBI joins local law enforcement in search

James Brien

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