Burnsville man’s violent death haunts family

By Lena Mitchell/NEMS Daily Journal

BURNSVILLE – Family members and friends have planned a prayer vigil for Saturday to celebrate the life of the late John R. Holt of Burnsville.
The 3 p.m. event at the Burnsville Park on Front Street will include remembrances of a man who was well loved in the community, said Holt’s niece Shelia Enlow.
Holt, 84, was beaten to death in his home on Dec. 22, 2009.
His body was found Dec. 23, by his nephew Andy Floyd, one of his caretakers.
It also is a way to remind people that law enforcement continues its search for those responsible for Holt’s death, Enlow said.
“Our family has never dealt with anything like this before, and it is very upsetting,” she said. “We have a large family with only one uncle left. He is survived by only one brother and several nieces and nephews.”
Floyd remembers Holt as a man who enjoyed his life.
“He was just a country man who enjoyed gardening and spending time with his friends,” Floyd said. “He liked working in his garden when he was able. He was in and out all the time.”
He also enjoyed fellowshipping with other members at his church, Liberty Hill Baptist.
“He went to church about every Sunday he was able,” Floyd said.
Leads in finding who murdered Holt have been slow in coming, said Tishomingo County Sheriff Glenn Whitlock.
Even making the crime the feature on March 9, for Crime Stoppers of Northeast Mississippi, yielded little information.
“Crime Stoppers has not been very productive, but the investigation is progressing,” the sheriff said. “We’re still a long way from making an arrest at this time, but I feel optimistic that we will make an arrest. It’s been slower than anyone would have liked, but it is progressing. We try not to get in too much of a rush so that when we get to court we don’t lose the case.”
Holt, a former self-employed logger and trucker, was someone who liked to talk and joke, and his absence will be felt, particularly at family reunions, Floyd said.
“We want anybody who would be interested to come out Saturday,” Enlow said. “There won’t be a set program, but we invite anybody who has something they want to say.”

Contact Lena Mitchell at (662) 287-9822 or lena.mitchell@djournal.com.