By JB Clark/NEMS Daily Journal
An autopsy has revealed two people found dead in the Macedonia community in Lee County on Tuesday were homicide victims, and the third committed suicide.
Lee County Coroner Carolyn Green said the autopsy showed Danica McCord, 46, and her daughter Destiny McCord, 13, were homicide victims and that Wiley Young, 55, shot himself.
Green said the autopsy showed Young died from a gunshot wound to his mouth. Both McCords had fatal gunshot wounds to the head.
Sheriff Jim Johnson said he was not prepared to officially declare the deaths a murder-suicide until he sees the autopsy report, which had not yet been delivered to his office Wednesday. On Tuesday, the sheriff had said there was no search under way for any suspects and no cause for public alarm.
“Once we see the official documentation we will review it and compare it to the crime scene evidence before making a decision,” Johnson said Wednesday. “If the autopsy result confirms what we found at the crime scene, we will close it.” Until then, the investigation will remain open.
Johnson said he retrieved cellphones and computers as evidence Wednesday morning. A .45-caliber handgun found near the bodies was taken from the home Tuesday.
The bodies were found in their County Road 49 home Tuesday around 8:30 a.m. by Young’s son, Jason Young, a game warden for the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks.
The family was last seen together on Sunday morning at Victory Church in New Albany, where Pastor Mark Bishop said he always was delighted to see them worship together.
“Danica and Destiny were a delight to see come into the church,” Bishop said. “Their smiles were brighter than the sun, and their warm personalities embraced the hearts of all.”
Bishop described Young as a caring and hard-working man. “If you spent much time with him, he would soon tell you about his son and his family, his church and how God had blessed him. He would take time to shake your hand, hug your neck or just say hello.”
The man described by his pastor as a dedicated father was described by Destiny’s grandmother, Charlotte McCord, as someone Danica was afraid of.
“It was obvious to us, as family members, that she was scared of him,” McCord said in an email to the Daily Journal. “Now, we know why she was scared to tell him to leave, in fear that something like this might happen. But regardless of what happened, that innocent, 13-year-old granddaughter of mine did not deserve to die.”
McCord is the mother of Danica McCord’s late husband, Anthony McCord, who died in 2010.
Young lived in Danica McCord’s home, but Charlotte McCord said they were not engaged to be married as has previously been reported.