SELMA, Ala. (WSFA) - Selma police investigators face an unusual situation; two cases involving missing people. One has since been found deceased while the other is still missing. The cases are unrelated.
We begin with the story of Betty Jo Mitchell, 64, who was reported missing by her husband on Christmas Eve. Police say the couple shared a home upstream on the Alabama River.
“We’re not ruling anything out as far as her health or otherwise,” said Selma Police Chief Kenta Fulford.
For a week and half no one really had any answers. But on Saturday around 2 p.m., Mitchell’s body was found five miles away in the water near Dallas County Roads 74 and 946, just off Montgomery Highway.
“One of the persons that was there had saw what they thought was a body from their home, and that’s when they got in the boat to see what was going on,” said Chief Fulford. “We’ve sent the body over to [the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences] and we’re waiting on the report from there.”
The second missing person is Shawdarius Tyus, 27, who hasn’t been seen since Dec. 23, also on Montgomery Highway not far from the river. Foul play might be a possibility in this case, according to investigators.
“That is a possibility. That is a possibility,” Chief Fulford reiterated. “We’ve gotten several leads from people who have called in to us, so we’re searching everything out.”
Selma police say never before have they dealt with two missing people around the same time during the holiday season.
“I’ve been here 18 years and I’ll tell you this is the first time I’ve experienced two people missing at the same time just days apart of each other,” Fulford explained.
The police chief is urging anyone with any information regarding either case to call CrimeStoppers at 334-215-STOP or the Selma Police Department at 334-874-2134.