Man confesses to scrapyard murder

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A Philadelphia man who is an habitual offender has confessed to one of the 2019 scrapyard murders, the authorities said.

Jasper D. Sullivan, 34, of 10211 Road 383, was charged last week with the March 2019 murder of Harvey Vancleave, 52, according to Neshoba County Sheriff Eric Clark.

Clark said that in February an informant sparked interest in the case. “Since February, we’ve invested many hours working on this,” he said.

The informant shared special details of the events surrounding the case, Clark said. This caused deputies to review the case file and return to the alleged murder scene for further investigation.

The information proved valuable in the death of Vancleave, whose body was found hanging from a tree near Canal Scrap just off the Highway 15 bypass.

Jasper was the initial person of interest during the investigation. He was at the property when deputies were called to investigate the death of Wendy Johnson, 41, 11520 County Road 418, Union.

She was found dead inside a camper at Canal Scrap. The next day deputies returned to find Vancleave dead in a wooded area near the camper.  

Sullivan was brought back to Neshoba County in May from custody with the Mississippi Department of Corrections for questioning.

It was not until last week that he confessed to killing Vancleave, Clark said. Jail records show he was brought into Neshoba County custody around 3:25 p.m. on Sept. 7.

“He shared specific details about the Vancleave case,” Clark said. He was formally charged last Monday.

Justice Court Judge Jonathan Spears denied him bond. He is currently in the Neshoba County Detention Center.

Former Sheriff Tommy Waddell said at the time of the alleged murder that the couple had been living together in the camper. The landowner went to check on them and found the woman’s body.

Clark said that no charges have been filed in connection with Johnson’s death and the case remains under investigation.

Sullivan was also arrested on a disorderly conduct charge and received an $800 bond.

Sullivan as recently as August was indicted for kidnapping and was being charged as a habitual offender.

In 2017, Sullivan pleaded guilty to taking away a motor vehicle. He was sentenced to two years as an habitual offender and fined $2,000.


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