Mississippi Teacher of the Year Found Shot Dead. Two Men Charged.
The body of a Mississippi school teacher has been found just days after he was reported missing. Authorities tell us that Frederick McCray Jr.'s body was found under a pile of wood near an abandoned dog food factory near Bayou Levee Road and Huntington Stadium Fishmerman Drive in Ferriday.
It appears that McCray, late Sunday evening, was giving two men a ride when they robbed and murdered him. The pair then drove his body to the abandoned area and covered him up with trash and debris.
It has been determined that McCray died from a single gunshot wound. Police have arrested Jimmy O’Neal Lewis, 48, of 200 Smith Lane, Ferriday, Monday morning and charged him with first-degree murder Concordia Parish Chief Deputy David Hedrick said.
A second suspect, Cedric Tennessee, was arrested in New Orleans where he allegedly fled after McCray’s death.
Hedrick said Tennessee also has a warrant in Concordia Parish for first-degree murder.
Both suspects have given full confessions to the murder.
McCray's mother, Carol Williams, said that she spoke to her son, via text message, just shortly before his death and he'd told her that he was "on his way home."
Williams says that she was contacted by one of the suspects mothers who said that "she was scrolling down his Facebook page or some page she was looking on about how he was such an inspiring young man and had a whole lot going on how well she just knew he would achieve great things in life,' Williams shared. 'And she gave me her condolences of how much she knew she couldn't bring him back but how deeply sorry her family was."
McCray's family says that he just obtained his second Master's Degree and was in the process of obtaining his Doctorate. He was a Technology Foundations instructor and also served as Assistant Test Coordinator at Morgantown Middle School.
Zandra McDonald, Natchez Adams School District Deputy Superintendent, told Natchez Democrat that McCray had just completed his first year of teaching and was named the 2018-2019 Teacher of the Year.
This is truly a loss for, not just Frederick McCray's family but, his students and the community as well.
No motive for the robbery or murder has been released.