Apr 27, 2022

Yoknapatawpha murder victim laid to rest in Pittsburgh

Mourners gathered yesterday for the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania funeral of murder victim Wendy Pane Holloway, whose body was found south of Oxford on April 16.

Holloway was preceded in death by her father, Richard Pane, and is survived by her mother, Elizabeth Austin Pane of Pittsburgh and her brother, Peter Pane, of Memphis, Tennessee.

Many friends, former classmates, and colleagues attended the funeral service at White Memorial Chapel, offering condolences to the bereaved family of the young woman whose life was cut short so tragically. The pall on her white coffin was made using her favorite flower — 28 blue irises, one for each year of her life.

Holloway's long-time friend, Anil Virani, delivered the eulogy, and her cousin, Valerie Cooper, read a psalm. Relatives Steven Austin, Brett Collins and Jason Harding; former co-worker Daniel Courrier; and friends Greg Becker and Jake Winslow served as pallbearers.

The bereaved mother was supported by a large group of friends from her Red Cross activities and her volunteer work as a mathematics tutor.

Other mourners included Holloway's former roommate, Jenny Sadlier of Seattle, Washington; Stanford University Computer Science Professor Reginald Thorne; TechnoStar Chief Executive Officer Joshua Griggs; and relatives and friends Ashley Davies, Dexter Davies, Laura Pane Harding, Amanda Hansen, Audrey and Harold Pane, Myra Pane, Louisa Pane, Holly and Lou Sinclair, Sasha Sinclair, Morgan Sinclair.

'She had a big heart'

In his eulogy, Mr. Virani described the young Wendy Pane as a true friend, one with whom he had a friendly rivalry. She was the only person in class who ever beat him in math and science, he said, and she did it consistently every year they were in high school.

"I always admired Wendy's brilliance and talent," he told the congregation. "She was not one to mess around. She knew when she was right. She wanted to achieve, she had ambition, and she had the will to win."

He recalled how she had volunteered to help children with math and computing skills while she was in the final years of high school and later when she was at Stanford University.

"She had a big heart, especially when it came to helping people show their talents," he said.
Mr. Virani described how the two had stayed in contact over the years despite moving into different fields.

"We always kept in touch, being there for each other through life's ups and downs, celebrating each other's victories and easing each other's heartaches.

"The last time I saw her, back in August, she was full of enthusiasm, invigorated after her vacation in the Far East, and eagerly anticipating her new direction in Oxford. At the end of her life, she was looking forward to a future full of love, joy, and success. We'll never get to see what that future would have looked like, but I take comfort in the knowledge that I was her friend to the end. And she was mine."

After the interment at Homestead Cemetery, a reception was held at Mrs. Pane's home.

The Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Department's investigation into Holloway's murder is ongoing, and Detective Ted Armstrong is in Pittsburgh to speak to family members and friends.
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Apr 18, 2022

Jackson psychic contacts sheriff's department

Claims visions may be connected to mystery woman's death

Jackson psychic Sister Susannah has notified the Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Department of a vision she believes is related to the discovery of a woman's body south of Oxford on Saturday.

When Sister Susannah saw news reports about the body of an unidentified woman with head injuries found Saturday afternoon in Kelly Woods, she had an overwhelming feeling that her vision was about that crime. She called the sheriff's department yesterday, but she does not believe they're taking her seriously.

"They were polite but did not seem all that interested in what I had to say. I have relayed my visions to police in other jurisdictions in the past, and they have followed up on what I've said in a murder investigation. I am convinced that what I saw relates to this death."

After getting what she felt was "the brush-off" from the sheriff's department, Sister Susannah contacted Crime Beat Sunday and described her disturbing vision.
"I was feeling uneasy Friday night. Before I went to sleep, I saw a vision of the letter W and wine bottles. I felt a message in my head: 'this is the place.' It was something to do with what I was seeing, but what exactly, I don't know.

"I sensed that it was something to do with Oxford. I've done some readings there recently. There was an Oxford 'feeling' about it. I can't explain how I know this. It took me a while to get to sleep after that.

"Then I woke up during the night feeling terrified. It was as if I'd been hit on the head with a heavy object. I've had this type of warning before when something bad is about to happen, but I couldn't figure out what this one meant in time to save that poor girl."
The Jackson psychic has been in business as a clairvoyant since the 1990s. Among the many investigations that Sister Susannah claims to have assisted with is a 2019 Oregon case where she helped local police locate the bodies of two murder victims in a forest.

Sheriff's spokesperson Elizabeth Jones confirmed that the department is seeking the public's help to identify the woman whose body was found in Kelly Woods Saturday. Jones emphasized that all leads will be considered during the investigation process but said she could not comment on individual tips.
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Apr 17, 2022

Stained clothing may link to dead woman found yesterday

Authorities seek public's help to ID unique shirt

Opal-Marie James, 13, of Sardis and her dog, Lester, unearthed a potential clue today in the death of a woman found yesterday in Kelly Woods, south of Oxford. The pair discovered a plastic bag in a ditch near MS-6 around 2:00 p.m., while walking to a nearby store.

The teenager said she became frightened when she saw what looked like bloodstained clothing inside the bag and ran home to tell her mother what she had found. Her mother, Natalie James, then called 911 to report her daughter's discovery.

Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Department officials have not disclosed the contents of the bag but did say one of the items inside was a torn and stained woman's long-sleeved top, pictured at right.

Sheriff's Public Information Officer Elizabeth Jones said she could not confirm whether the stains on the shirt were blood until official test results are received.

Jones acknowledged that the items in the bag could be linked to the partially nude body of an unidentified woman found yesterday near the Kelly Green housing development, but said there was no known connection at this stage.

According to Jones, forensic testing will be performed on the contents of the bag to determine whether any relationship exists between the woman's body and the shirt or any other items found in the bag.

If you recognize the shirt pictured here, the YCSD asks that you contact them immediately.
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Apr 16, 2022

Mystery woman found dead near housing development

No ID found on partially nude body; officials suspect foul play

The Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Department is appealing to the public for help in identifying a woman whose partially nude body was found yesterday hidden by thick kudzu in Kelly Woods off MS-7, south of Oxford.

The dead woman, believed to be in her late 20s, was approximately 5'8" and 130 pounds with dark brown hair and blue eyes. She was wearing only faded blue jeans and undergarments but no shirt.

Authorities declined to specify the cause of death but said the woman likely died late Friday night or early Saturday morning.

An equipment operator working on an adjacent construction site discovered the body and notified the site supervisor, who in turn alerted the sheriff's department and the property developer Michael Robbins.

In a statement released late this afternoon by Robbins Developments, Mr. Robbins said,
"While today's tragic discovery was on an adjacent property with no connection to Robbins Developments or our Kelly Green development, we are deeply saddened by this young woman's death and pledge to do everything we can to assist the sheriff's department in their investigation."
The body was found in a secluded area of Kelly Woods that is sometimes used as a lover's lane. Residents in the area say cars have occasionally broken down and become stranded overnight. However, no one reported seeing a stranded vehicle this morning.

Yoknapatawpha Sheriff's Public Information Officer Elizabeth Jones said investigators believe the woman may have been killed elsewhere and her body dumped in Kelly Woods, but Jones declined to specify what evidence led them to that conclusion.

Jones said investigators are checking missing persons reports in Yoknapatawpha and surrounding counties for any missing women that fit the dead woman's description and will expand the search nationwide, if necessary.

The Sheriff's Department is asking anyone who believes they might have information about the woman's identity to contact them immediately.
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