A hand-drawn map offered to authorities a day after the state of Mississippi executed killer David Neal Cox has led to the apparent remains of his missing sister-in-law, authorities said Monday.
David Neal Cox, convicted in the 2010 murder of his estranged wife, Kim Kirk Cox, had long been suspected in the 2007 disappearance of Felicia Cox, then 40.
Before his scheduled execution, which took place Nov. 17, the woman's daughter, Amber Miskelly, wrote him a letter pleading for a location.
"I thought I had more time," Miskelly told NBC affiliate WTVA of Tupelo.
Pontotoc County Coroner Kim Bedford on Monday night said those remains, recovered in her jurisdiction Sunday, appear to be the those of Felicia Cox.
"We have reason to believe it is" her, she said.
Prosecutor John Weddle of the state's First Circuit District Attorney’s Office said in a statement Monday that DNA would be used to make an official determination.
Miskelly and other relatives of Felicia Cox were present and viewed excavation of the remains, he said.
On Oct. 26, David Neal Cox made an "admission of guilt" to his attorneys regarding the missing person case. It's not clear if this followed Miskelly's letter. Nor is it clear if the convict said he had anything to do with her death.
During a Dec. 6 press conference, Weddle said, "There is no indication that anyone other than Cox is responsible for Felicia Cox’s death."
The Mississippi Office of Capital Post-Conviction Counsel said in statement he had waived attorney-client privilege, effective postmortem, so family could be told where the missing woman's remains were located.
The case unfolded quickly after the execution, with his attorneys handing over that map to what it appears to describe as a familiar property on Cane Creek Road in Pontotoc County during a Nov. 19 meeting with prosecutors, Weddle said.
The prosecutor said Sunday's search was aided by ground-penetrating radar equipment from Mississippi State University and cadaver dogs from Columbus, Mississippi.
"Mr. Cox felt deep remorse and wanted to bring closure" to Felicia Cox's family, David Neal Cox's state counsel said in a Dec. 6 statement that revealed his confession.
Miskelly said she always suspected him because her mother had gone to visit her sister before she was reported missing.
“He was literally the last person with her when she was alive,” Miskelly told WTVA.
She said she's the one who filed the missing person report.