Man found deceased in city jail

Published 11:00 am Friday, December 20, 2019

According to a press release from the Picayune Police Department’s Assistant Chief Dustin Moeller, on Sunday, December 15, 2019, during an early morning inmate head count conducted at approximately 5:55 a.m. at the Picayune City Jail, officers discovered an inmate to be unresponsive. At that time, AAA Ambulance Service was dispatched to the jail. Upon AAA’s arrival, the inmate, Ricky Lee Holifield, Jr. age 48, of 34725 Edgar Kennedy Road, Pearl River, La., was pronounced deceased.

The Pearl River County Coroner’s Office was then called to the scene. At that time, Moeller turned the investigation over to the Mississippi Bureau of Investigations as a matter of protocol. Agents with MBI were dispatched to the scene shortly thereafter where they processed the scene and the jail as part of their investigation. The body was transported to the state of Mississippi Crime Lab in Jackson and an autopsy has been ordered.

Holifield was booked into the Picayune Criminal Justice Center the night of Dec. 14 for DUI first offense.

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At this time, department officials do not know the cause of death, but do not expect foul play to be a factor because the inmate was housed in a cell by himself.

Due to the fact that the investigation has been turned over to MBI, any information pertaining to the investigation and cause of death will be released once the investigation has concluded.

Coroner Derek Turnage said MBI is investigating the death along with the coroner’s office, and an autopsy has been performed.The State Medical Examiner’s Office is completing the autopsy, Turnage said, and the results of that autopsy could take several weeks.  It takes time to run tests and get toxicology results back, Turnage said.