NATCHITOCHES, LA (KSLA) - The U.S. Marshals Gulf Coast Regional Fugitive Task Force is asking for the public's help and offering up to $5,000 for information about a Natchitoches man wanted in connection with the murder of a camper in Marshall County, Miss.
Joshua Fletcher, 31, is charged with the murder of 20-year-old Samuel Smith, whose body was found on Chewalla Lake outside the city limits of Holly Springs, Miss. on July 29.
Autopsy results reportedly indicated Smith was drowned three or four days before his body was found, and there were signs of blunt force trauma to his head.
Authorities say surveillance footage shows Fletcher driving Smith's 2003 Chevrolet S-10 pickup after Smith was believed to have been murdered.
"The Marshall County Sheriff's Office is committed to seeing this investigation through until it ends," said Marshall County Sheriff Kenny Dickerson in a statement released Monday announcing the reward for information leading to Fletcher's capture.
"We will continue to work with other jurisdictions and federal investigators until justice is served and the victim's family has a feeling of closure. For anyone to deprive such a young person of a full life is beyond despicable, and we are going to use any and all resources necessary to see that Fletcher is prosecuted to the fullest."
"We will exhaust every investigative tool our agency has to find Fletcher," U.S. Marshal for the Northern District of Mississippi Dennis Erby said in the statement. "Our job is to assist our local partners in bringing violent fugitives to justice."
Fletcher is known to frequent the Ball, Louisiana area, according to investigators.
Fletcher is approximately 6 feet 3 inches tall, weighs approximately 170 pounds, and has brown eyes and brown hair and could possibly have a shaved head now.
Fletcher also is known to have violent tendencies and possible mental disabilities, according to authorities, who are urging anyone who sees Fletcher to "use extreme caution. Do not approach this fugitive. Please call the U.S. Marshals Service or your local law enforcement agency."
If you have seen Joshua Fletcher or know his whereabouts, call the U.S. Marshals Service Communications Center at 1 (800) 336-0102 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Any information provided will be considered confidential, and there is a cash award of up to $5,000 available for information leading to Fletcher's arrest.