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Investigation into death continuing


By KELI JACOBI News-Times Staff Authorities continued their investigation Monday into the death of a Union County man who may have been the victim of a robbery, said Union County Sheriff Ken Jones.
Jerry Cornelious French, 67, was reportedly found dead in the bedroom of his home by a cousin around 7:30 p.m. Friday. Though the exact date of his death is still unknown, said Jones, a review of the crime scene indicated the victim died some time prior to Friday.
"An investigator with our office has taken physical evidence to the Arkansas State Crime Lab in Little Rock for analysis and we are looking into a number of leads in the case," said Jones, adding that the State Medical Examiner would perform an autopsy Monday.
"That same investigator will be talking to the examiner while he’s in Little Rock," Jones said.
Three teams of additional investigators spread over three counties – Columbia, Ouachita and Union – are also following up on leads, according to the sheriff.
French’s residence, located at 259 Bertha Williams Road in Mount Holly, appeared to have been burglarized and there were indications of forced entry into the home, said Jones.
The victim may have died from a gunshot wound to the head, according to the sheriff, although his exact cause of death will not be determined until the autopsy is completed. French, a military retiree who moved to Mount Holly several years ago, reportedly lived alone.
French’s truck is still missing – a 2003 white Chevrolet Avalanche with Arkansas license plate 476 HWJ – and was probably stolen during the incident, said Jones.
Anyone with information should contact the Union County Sheriff ’s Office at 870-864-1970.

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