Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Brother of Mississippi murder victim found safe after report of disappearance

BRANDON — Arthur Jones, the Brandon man whose sister was confirmed recently to be a long-unidentified Mississippi murder victim, has been found safe following a report that he was missing.

Jones, whose call to the Tampa Bay Times two years ago prompted a reporter's efforts to find his long-lost sister, Asenath Mary Woodin, phoned the paper again Wednesday to say he is okay. He has been living in the city of Lake Alfred, in Polk County, following a split in September with his wife, Renee, he said.

His wife said previously that Jones left Sept. 17 and never returned home, leading to concerns for his well-being.

Marital troubles led to the split, Jones said, but his wife knows where he is.

Efforts to find Jones before Wednesday to deliver news of his sister's identification proved fruitless. He contacted the paper after reading an online story about the results of DNA testing in the Mississippi case.

The results came as no surprise, Jones said. He was sure the unidentified woman was his sister when he first learned of the possible match.

"I've been operating under the assumption that was the case for the last two years," he said. He expressed interest in plans for a memorial service for Woodin, but it remains unclear when or where such a service might happen.

Jones began an effort to find Woodin in 2011, more than a decade after he last saw his sister.

The search ultimately led to the discovery of a woman known as "Rosa Doe," a murder victim whose charred body was found in woods in 2003 in Hancock County, Miss.

The woman's estimated height and age matched those of Woodin. And a composite reconstruction of what the woman looked like bore a strong resemblance to her.

Investigators conducted several rounds of DNA testing, comparing the woman's genetic traits with those of Jones, Woodin's son and her mother. In late November, a match was confirmed.

Mississippi authorities are continuing their pursuit of Woodin's killer. Detectives have said there is a person of interest in the case, but no arrests have been made.

Dan Sullivan can be reached at (813) 226-3386 or

Brother of Mississippi murder victim found safe after report of disappearance 12/18/13 [Last modified: Wednesday, December 18, 2013 10:38pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Jordan Spieth wins British Open (w/ video)


    SOUTHPORT, England — Someday, perhaps soon, there will be a plaque at Royal Birkdale for Jordan Spieth, much like the one off the 16th hole that celebrates Arnold Palmer and the 6-iron he slashed out of the rough in 1961 to win the British Open and usher in a new era of golf.

    Matt Kuchar plays out of the bunker on the 18th hole and finishes with bogey for 1-under 69. He had a one-shot lead after 13 holes.
  2. Fennelly: Brutal weekend could be start of something worse for Rays

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Well, that was lovely.

    Brad Boxberger suffers his second loss in the three-game series, this time by allowing back-to-back homers in the eighth inning when called on to protect a 5-3 lead. “Just bad pitches,” he says.
  3. Wesley Chapel hockey camp impresses youth players, parents

    Lightning Strikes

    WESLEY CHAPEL — As a 17-year-old Triple-A hockey player, MacCallum Brown regularly plays against elite talent. As a Palm Harbor resident, he often has to travel to face that talent.

  4. Rays claim not to be panicking after third straight brutal loss to Rangers (w/ video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — There was no "here we go again" moment in the dugout as Rougned Odor's two-run homer in the eighth inning arced across Tropicana Field and toward the rightfield seats, even though when it landed, the score was tied and another late-inning Rays lead was blown.

    Rays third baseman Evan Longoria heads back to the dugout after fouling out in the ninth inning with the potential tying run on first.
  5. White House signals acceptance of Russia sanctions bill


    WASHINGTON — The White House indicated Sunday that President Donald Trump would accept new legislation imposing sanctions on Russia and curtailing his authority to lift them on his own, a striking turnaround after a broad revolt in Congress by lawmakers of both parties who distrusted his friendly approach to …

    President Donald Trump’s ability to lift sanctions against Russia would be blocked.