Willie Frank Bowie, 83, was found dead early Monday morning in his car about a half-mile from his home on County Road 161, off College Hill Switch Road.
While Lafayette County Sheriff's Investigator Scott Mills said he could not divulge the cause of Bowie's death, he confirmed that it was being investigated as a homicide.
"That's a small community out there, and we feel like there's some information out there that somebody has, and we desperately need it," Mills said.
CrimeStoppers is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the killer.
Sheriff's officers were called to the scene northwest of Oxford about 7:30 a.m. Monday. Bowie, widowed since 2005, lived alone but was a member of West St. Peter's United Methodist Church and was well-known to his neighbors.
"He was nice fellow," said Sadie Wilson, whose late husband was kin to Bowie. "He would come by here nearly every morning."
Wilson said Bowie had appeared to be in good health.
"He was an older man, but he was doing good," she said.
Bowie's death was Lafayette County's first homicide of 2010.
The county had four homicides last year - the most in recent memory:
* Frank Cromwell was charged with murder in the April shooting death of his wife, Chris Ann Milam Harwell, at the couple's home.
* Caleb Carothers was charged with capital murder for the July robbery and shootings of father and son Frank and Taylor Clark. Carothers faces an additional charge of aggravated assault in the shooting of Tonya Clark, Frank's wife and Taylor's mother.
* Lafayette County grand jurors declined to indict Brenda Crommie for the April shooting death of James Lee Jones. Investigators said she was trying to keep Jones from dragging her elderly husband with his car.
Contact Errol Castens at (662) 281-1069 or email@example.com.