Police puzzled in cold case of Antonio Simpson - Mid-South News, Weather, Traffic and Sports | FOX13

Police puzzled in cold case of Antonio Simpson

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    Friday, October 4 2013 3:43 PM EDT2013-10-04 19:43:45 GMT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (FOX13) -

Memphis Police homicide investigators are baffled by a crime on a back road that is leading detectives to a dead end.

It involves the case of Antonio Darnelle Simpson who grew up in Inverness Miss., about a two hour drive from Memphis, Tenn. His body found in the woods behind Hawkins Mill near Pointe Church, a place you don't go to be seen but to hide from view.

It's a perfect place to fish or hide a crime as was the case late June of 2013.

Memphis Police Cold Case Sgt. Joe Stark says officers were in the area when "someone flagged them down and said there's a burnt out car, down a little dirt road."

The stolen car was burned beyond recognition but in the back of the vehicle police found ghoulish evidence.

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"They can see from the front all the way to the back, because of the cushion is gone so they look right into the trunk," Sgt. Stark said. "They see what looks like a skull."

Skull and bones were later identified as belonging to the 33-year-old, who had moved to Memphis for work. Simpson's family filed a missing person report after he stopped answering his cellphone.

"He would always call the girls and leave a message," said Monique King, the mother of Simpson's two children. "We talked to him almost every day and after days and days went by I knew something wasn't right."

Detectives say few clues can ever be recovered from the car burned down to the frame but they discovered signs of other violence which may have some connection to why someone wanted to shoot Simpson in the head.   

"There were some dog carcasses found in the area that were pit bulls, and we knew that he bred and sold pit bulls," Sgt. Stark said. "So I don't know if they were back there fighting dogs. I don't know what they were doing. We are just grasping for straws."

Whatever the reason, the murder of Mr. Simpson still pains his family. They want justice.

"It's like a bad hate crime," King said. "To kill somebody in that manner, you know? You got to really not have a heart to kill somebody in that manner, you know?"

Sgt. Stark said even if the car had not been burned it might not have helped the homicide detectives much because it had been stolen five years ago.

If you know anything about the murder of Mr. Simpson you are asked to call CrimeStoppers at 901-528-CASH. The right tip could lead to a cash reward.

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