Details surrounding the murder of 6-year-old Kingston Frazier are starting to crystalize after false statements from the Hinds County sheriff led to rampant rumors and accusations of involvement by the child's family.
Hinds County Sheriff Victor Mason said at a Thursday press conference that Kingston's mother, Ebony Archie, exited the Kroger on I-55 in Jackson at 2:30 a.m. and reported to a deputy on duty at the grocery store that her car was stolen but did not mention her son was in the car until later.
"When we found out later that there was a child in the back, we immediately notified the highway patrol (who) put out an Amber Alert," Mason said.
However, Jackson Police Department Commander Tyree Jones said Friday that JPD received a call at 1:28 a.m. "to assist Hinds County with an auto theft and child abduction in the Kroger parking lot." Jones said multiple officers responded, with the first officer arriving on scene at 1:32 a.m.
JPD tweeted an alert about the incident at 2:28 a.m.
"ALERT: 2000 silver Toyota Camry stolen from Kroger parking lot on I-55 w/ 7 yoa BM child in the vehicle. MS license plate HYX 783." the tweet said.
ALERT: 2000 silver Toyota Camry stolen from Kroger parking lot on I-55 w/ 7 yoa BM child in the vehicle. MS license plate HYX 783.— Jackson Police Dept. (@JacksonMSPolice) May 18, 2017
Multiple law enforcement sources from different agencies told The Clarion-Ledger that it was known a child was in the stolen car as early as 1:30 a.m. Sources said Hinds County did not file the request for an Amber Alert until approximately 4 a.m. The Department of Public Safety sent the Amber Alert at 4:30 a.m.
Mason could not be reached immediately for comment about his statements, which have led to widespread rumors on social media.
"It’s not true," Mississippi Bureau of Investigation spokesman Warren Strain said of the internet rumors. "It’s rumor and speculation, conjecture. Do not put any stock in what your’e seeing in social media. The investigation is early on, and what is being put out on social media is untrue and not factual."
Strain said Friday they are "confident" the three teens arrested for Kingston's murder are those responsible. Madison-Rankin District Attorney Michael Guest charged Dwan Diondro Wakefield, 17, of Ridgeland; DeAllen Washington, 17; and Bryon McBride Jr., 19, with capital murder.
Multiple law enforcement sources from different agencies identified McBride as the shooter.
Kingston's body was discovered at approximately 9:30 a.m. Thursday on Gluckstadt Road in Madison County. Madison County Coroner Alex Breeland said an autopsy was conducted Friday morning. Preliminary results revealed Kingston died of multiple gunshot wounds, Breeland said. A time of death was not yet known.
Multiple sources from different agencies also confirmed that Archie had been at a night club Wednesday night. After leaving the club, she picked up Kingston from a different location before going to Kroger. Kingston was alive in the car when Archie last saw him, sources said.
Archie is not a suspect and was not involved in Kingston's murder, the sources confirmed.
Health Hall, spokesperson for the Madison County Sheriff's Department, referred all questions regarding the investigation to Strain.
“I’ve never seen anything like this before,” Hall said. “He could have dropped the kid off on the side of the road, anywhere."
Kingston was taken from the Kroger parking lot off of Interstate 55 in Jackson in the early morning hours.
Geoff Pender and Jerry Mitchell contributed to this report.