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New details revealed in homicide, arrest

Published: Sep. 10, 2020 at 5:05 PM CDT
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MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - The hunt for Clarke County homicide suspect, Delanney Ford, 30, ended Wednesday evening in Meridian.

He was caught in front of the Bonita location of Taco Bell by Meridian Senior Patrol Officer Tavaras Smith.

“He was walking down the roadway. I was able to position my car and get out with him. I took him into custody without incident,” Smith said.

Just before that, authorities say the SUV that Ford was driving was spotted nearby at Sam’s Club.

At the time, it was believed that Ford went into the store. That led to law enforcement agencies surrounding the location and an extensive search inside and out.

“While officers from multiple agencies were conducting a search inside of Sam’s, I decided to check the perimeter and came across Mr. Dellaney,” Smith explained.

Ford is accused of killing Samuel Roberts, 73, and dumping his body on Highway 18 near Pachuta in Clarke County.

“It was a rural stretch of highway where we found the body of Mr. Roberts,” Clarke County Sheriff Todd Kemp said.

Kemp said the suspect and victim lived at the same home on 9th Avenue in Meridian. It’s believed that Ford kidnapped the 73-year-old sometime Saturday.

“They saw Mr. Roberts leave with Ford late Saturday afternoon. Mr. Ford returned to the residence without Mr. Roberts in the vehicle,” Kemp said.

Investigators said it wasn’t until Wednesday morning that Roberts' body was identified.

“I believe the evidence will show that Mr. Ford did, in fact, kill Mr. Roberts in Clarke County on Highway 18,” explained Kemp.

Several shell casings were discovered near Roberts' body. Not too far from the crime scene, Kemp said a citizen found a gun. The gun will be sent to the crime lab for analysis.

Ford’s arrest is the culmination of multiple law enforcement agencies working together as one.

“It’s a culmination of the 17 years I’ve been doing it. Over those years there’s been a lot of relationships with deputies from Clarke County, MHP and MBI. Having those working relationships over the years, we were able to come together and put a net around the subject to capture him,” Smith said.

“All agencies working together helped put this case together. I appreciate them more than you know,” Kemp said.

Ford is expected to face charges of kidnapping and motor vehicle theft in the city of Meridian. Ford is charged with murder in Clarke County.

Copyright 2020 WTOK. All rights reserved.

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