GA murder suspect detained in MS after pastor notified police

Troup Co. Sheriff's Office Full Press Conference
(Credit: Lee County Sheriff's Dept. in Mississippi)
(Credit: Lee County Sheriff's Dept. in Mississippi)

TROUP COUNTY, GA (WTVM) - Officials confirm that 26-year-old Thomas Lee has been arrested in Mississippi. During a press conference Tuesday night, Troup County, GA Sheriff James Woodruff said that Lee was detained at a bus station in Tupelo, Miss. shortly after 5 p.m.

Lee made it to the bus station after the pastor at Crossroads Baptist Church in Alcorn, Miss. provided him with a bus ticket, after Lee asked to get a way to Opelika, Ala. It is currently unclear why he chose Opelika to travel to, but it is known that Lee has family members in the Valley area.

While he was taking Lee to the bus station, he recognized him as the suspect wanted in Georgia. The pastor then contacted Mississippi law enforcement, and Lee was detained without incident, Woodruff said.

"I've been [in law enforcement] for over 25 years, I've been Sheriff now for just over two years. I have never seen anything of this magnitude with this many victims of a homicide," Sheriff Woodruff said. "I've been to a lot of crime scenes, and this one will always stand out in my memory. Why he did it is the big question, and that's what we're wanting to know and that's what the family wants to know is why, why did this senseless crime have to occur."

WTVM was also the only local news station at the press conference.

Lee is wanted in connection to the murders of five people in LaGrange, GA. The five bodies were discovered on Saturday night following a wellness check on the residence located on the 100 block of Woodstream Drive.

Troup County Sheriff's Office Sgt. Stewart Smith confirmed that four of the victims were found shot in various rooms throughout the home, and a fifth victim died in a different manner. The victim killed in a different manner was not the victim's wife, and an autopsy will reveal their cause of death.

The victims found in the home were William Burtron, 69, Shelia Burtron, 68, Christie Lee, 33, Bailey Burtron, 16, and Iianna Green, 18. Four of the victims are related, and Thomas Lee is said to be the husband of Christie Lee.

The reasons for their deaths is unclear, but Woodruff said two of his investigators are en route to Mississippi to interview Lee.

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