A man in Mississippi who remains jailed for allegedly murdering a pregnant woman who was days away from giving birth was reportedly due in court last Wednesday for a paternity hearing.
The Mississippi Clarion-Ledger reports that Terrance Sample, 33, was scheduled to appear in Attala County Chancery Court two days after Makayla Winston’s body was found on a deserted road in Holmes County. Winston, whose due date was July 4, vanished on June 27, after reportedly leaving her Goodman home to show Sample a sonogram.
The paternity petition was reportedly filed on April 8. The Clarion-Ledger noted that the Mississippi Department of Human Services does not identify the person for whom they are filing a petition, meaning there is no confirmation the petition named Winston. If one side is disputing paternity, the agency can file a petition on the child’s behalf.
Holmes County Sheriff Willie March said a worker spotted Winston’s body on a deserted road after noticing birds swarming over it. Since then, Holmes County District Attorney Akille Malone-Oliver revealed that Sample’s relative had found Winston’s body near his property.
The slain woman’s body was reportedly located roughly five miles from where her car was previously found with the keys in the ignition. A white SUV matching the description of a vehicle owned by Sample was allegedly seen at the same intersection.
Winston’s cellphone was discovered in the grass near her vehicle but its contents been erased. Local authorities and the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation have reportedly been in the process of recovering text messages from the phone.
While Sample has been characterized as Winston’s boyfriend, March said he claimed they weren’t in a relationship. The sheriff revealed that Sample is believed to have been in a relationship with another woman who’s being questioned, according to the Ledger.
March also alleged that Sample and Winston came into contact on the night of her disappearance.
“[Agents] went over and interviewed [Sample] and he said that he hadn’t spoke to [Winston] in so many days, but the texts said something different,” he said, according to WAPT. “If I was dating a young lady, I sure wouldn’t text her and say [that] to her. So, yeah, there was a sign that he probably didn’t want this baby.”
Sample remains jailed without bond on kidnapping and aggravated murder charges.
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[Featured image: Terrence K. Sample/Holmes County Sheriff’s Department; Makayla Winston/National Center for Missing and Exploited]