Family of woman found dead in DeSoto seeks help with funeral

DeSoto drops charge against man arrested over woman's death
Published: Jun. 11, 2016 at 8:28 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 11, 2016 at 8:56 PM CDT
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LOGANSPORT, LA (KSLA) - A family member of a young woman who was missing and now is presumed dead has set up an online account in an attempt to raise money for her funeral expenses.

Meantime, a Logansport man no longer faces a charge of second-degree murder in connection with the death of his 21-year-old acquaintance and was released June 11 by the DeSoto sheriff's office.

Deputies brought 33-year-old Jarrod Earl Johnson in for questioning June 10 after a woman's body was found that morning partially submerged in a small pond in the 2100 block of Old Mansfield Road in Logansport.

The decision to release Johnson was made based on preliminary results of an autopsy on a body tentatively identified as Maranda Whitton and a review of the case with the DeSoto district attorney's office.

Sheriff Rodney Arbuckle told KSLA News 12 the preliminary autopsy results could not determine the cause of death.

Whitton was reported as missing June 9. A sheriff's office investigator stumbled upon a woman's body at 10:56 a.m. June 10 while retracing Whitton's steps in the area she last was seen the evening of June 6.

"Maranda went missing on Monday, June 6, 2016. She was walking to my house and never made it," says a note on a GoFundMe page created by Logansport resident Monica Fonville.

The post goes on to say that Whitton had no life insurance "... and had her life taken from her way too soon.

"I am praying that we can raise enough money to give her a proper funeral that she deserves."

Fonville describes Whitton as "a very fun, outgoing girl who loved the outdoors. She always found the good in everyone and even on her saddest days she found a reason to laugh. She loved everyone she met and most of all she loved life itself."

As of 18 hours after the page was created, 17 people had donated $790 toward the $10,000 goal.

Steven McCoy, who in a Facebook post identifies himself as Whitton's fiance, is among Facebook users who have shared a posting about the GoFundMe account.

There's a photo of a note posted June 11 on McCoy's Facebook page. He says the note dated May 22, 2016, was the last thing Whitton wrote to him.

His Facebook page also has the following recent posts about Whitton:

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