One year later, death of Holly Ridge farm worker still unsolved


It’s been just over a year since an apparent thief or thieves caused the death of a Holly Ridge farm worker who was preparing to go visit his mother out of state and although the case is still under investigation, no arrests have been made.

Marcelino Torres, who was 38-years-old at the time of his death, was shot and later died after intruders executed an apparent home invasion around 2 a.m., on Dec. 8, 2017.

At the time, Sheriff James Haywood said at least two armed suspects forced their way, through a front door, into Torres’ home at 41 Holly Ridge Road.

It is believed that although the intruders planned to rob Torres, they were evidently in the process of robbing Torres’ roommate when Torres came in, interrupted and startled them and they shot him in the neck area.

Now, a year later, Haywood said they are just getting the evidence back from the crime lab. On Friday, he said, “We just got it this week.” He said that he and Chief Investigator Woodrow Spencer were reviewing the findings and although he has a couple of suspects there are no new ones at this time.

Haywood said the crime lab is backed up and evidently more than a year behind. “Hopefully with the stuff from the crime lab we can do something,” he said.

With the holiday season upon us, Haywood issued this warning to the citizens of Sunflower County.

“Be careful.” He said criminals prey heavily upon people during this time and especially farm workers and others that they perceive will be getting bonuses.

The sheriff said he is already getting information that people are showing up at the banks with bonus checks.

And if he is getting the information, “The bad guys are getting it too,” he said.

Haywood said that many times, members of the Hispanic community are reluctant to report crimes against them, however he encourages them to “report it, don’t be afraid.”

Farm workers are not the only ones who need to exercise heightened-levels of caution during this time of year. According to the county’s principal law enforcement officer, scammers are also targeting the elderly.

He has already gotten calls from senior citizens who are reporting that someone is calling them to tell them they’ve won large sums of money and need to send a smaller amount in order to claim their prize.

Others, he said, are reporting that they have received calls declaring them as a winner in a contest. “If you didn’t enter, you didn’t win,” Haywood cautioned.

Haywood said people should also be mindful that some criminals will show up at their door under the guise of wanting to do yard work, rake leaves and such, just to gain access to them. “This time of the year, everybody needs to be careful,” he said.



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