A death row killer made a shock confession to a separate cold case murder just before his execution in Mississippi last month – bringing hopes of closure to the victim’s family 14 years on from her disappearance.
David Cox confessed to murdering his sister-in-law Felicia Cox and provided them with details of where her remains could be found, authorities have revealed.
Cox was put to death on 17 November for murdering his estranged wife Kim Kirk Cox and sexually assaulting his stepdaughter, making him the first person to be executed in Mississippi since 2012.
In 2010, Cox shot his wife dead and sexually assaulted her 12-year-old daughter in front of her as she lay dying from her wounds.
First Circuit District Attorney John Weddle said in a press conference on Monday that Cox had also been a “longtime suspect” in the disappearance of Felicia Cox.
Felicia Cox vanished without a trace back in July 2007 at the age of 40. She was last seen alive visiting Kim Kirk Cox in Pontotoc County, Mississippi, and the case into her disappearance had long gone cold.
DA Weddle said that Cox confessed to killing Felicia Cox in a letter to his attorneys in October.
He agreed for his attorney client privilege to be waived after his execution and his attorneys handed over his deathbed confession letter to the DA’s office on 19 November – two days after his execution.
Mississippi’s Office of Capital Post-Conviction Counsel said the killer “felt deep remorse and wanted to bring closure” to the victim’s family.
The letter contains both an “admission of guilt” for Felicia Cox’s disappearance and death and details about the location of her remains, said DA Weddle.
The DA said the letter did not go into detail about the killing itself but was “very detailed” about the location of the body, leading authorities to believe that the confession is accurate.
“There is no indication that anyone other than Cox is responsible for Felicia Cox’s death,” he said.
Officials have not disclosed the purported site of the remains other than to say it is in Pontotoc County and that there have been “some changes to the location” over the years but that they are hopeful a search will “still be successful”.
Mississippi State University archaeology and anthropology experts have been drafted in to help in the recovery efforts, he said.
“We would like to stress that locating the remains of Felicia Cox is not a foregone conclusion," said DA Weddle.
"We are hopeful that the information is accurate and that recovery efforts will be successful so that Felicia’s family may give her a proper burial.
Felicia Cox’s daughter Amber Miskelly, who was 18 at the time of her mother’s disappearance, joined the press conference with her husband and was seen wiping away tears as officials announced the development in her mother’s case.
Cox had spent the last nine years on death row in Mississippi following his conviction and death sentence in 2012.
The 50-year-old’s execution date was set after he abandoned all appeals, calling himself “worthy of death”.