Devasted Mississippi Mother Searched for Son for Months Before Finding Out He Was Ran Over By Off-Duty Cop and Buried In Unmarked Grave

A Mississippi woman has, at last, discovered the whereabouts of her son, who mysteriously disappeared in March 2023.

To her shock, it has come to light that the 37-year-old was struck and killed by a Jackson police officer’s car, and his remains were laid to rest in grave No. 672 at the Hinds County Jail’s penal farm.

When she arrived at his grave this month, Bettersten Wade said, “I’m so sorry this happened to you. But Mama didn’t know. Mama didn’t know,” as NBC reported in a recent exposé.

Bettersten Wade holds a photo of her son, Dexter Wade. (Photo: Facebook/Better Than I Was Yesterday)

Wade had filed a missing person report with the same police department where the person who took the life of her son, Dexter Wade, worked.

Despite members of the force having the information about her son’s death, she was kept in the dark for 172 days about the grim truth: her son’s life was taken by one of their own, and he was quietly interred in a plot located in the back of the detention facility.

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“They had me looking for him all that time, and they knew who he was,” the mother told NBC News.

Dexter suffered from bipolar disorder and schizophrenia and was killed on March 5.

When Bettersten Wade called about her son being missing, police said no one had been able to find him.

That was not the truth.

The Jackson Police Department was aware that a Jackson police officer had fatally struck Dexter while he crossed a nearby interstate highway.

An off-duty corporal hit Dexter and called in to report the accident. Police did not give the officer a sobriety test nor check if he was under the influence of any narcotics or alcohol. He was also not cited for violating any traffic laws.

According to police records, Dexter hurt his head after being hit. He also sustained other injuries to his body. A toxicology report revealed he was under the influence, having PCP and methamphetamine in his system. However, there is no suggestion that the drugs had anything to do with him being hit.

Police records ruled the death accidental.

Initially, when a representative from the Hinds County coroner’s office arrived at the scene, they couldn’t find any identification on Dexter. However, a prescription bottle in his pocket had his name on it.

Three days later, on March 8, investigator LaGrand Elliott contacted the medical facility holding Dexter’s prescription records and obtained his mother’s name as the next of kin. Elliott left a voicemail after getting her number, although Wade claims she didn’t receive the call.

On the following day, the state crime lab confirmed Dexter Wade’s identity through fingerprint matching. Subsequently, Elliott passed his information, along with his mother’s contact information, to the Jackson Police Department’s accident investigation squad.

“Once we get that information, I turn it over to police because it is their jurisdiction so that they can do the proper death notification,” Elliott said to NBC.

Still, they never notified Bettersten Wade of her son’s death and did not tell her that her son was dead when she called the JPD on March 14 to report him missing. In fact, when Elliott followed up with the department about getting in touch with the emergency contact, they told him she could not be found.

“No kin has been located as of yet,” the investigator wrote in his notes on the case.

On March 30, another call was placed, and the department reported no changes. The following day, the coroner’s office sought approval from the Hinds County Board of Supervisors to lay Dexter to rest in a pauper’s field at the Hinds County penal farm, where the mother was taken by the sheriff seven months after last seeing her son.

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Elliott kept calling the department, but no progress was made until a new investigator took the case and called Bettersten on Aug. 13 to let her know she would be the point person for her case and then, on Aug. 24, called to tell her what had happened to her son.

Four years prior, on January 13, 2019, while Jackson Police officers were conducting a search for the murderer of Reverend Anthony Longino, they encountered a 62-year-old man, George Robinson, who had no connection to the pastor’s murder at New Bethany Missionary Baptist Church, according to Mississippi Today.

Witnesses recounted seeing officers forcibly remove Robinson, Bettersten’s brother, from his vehicle, slamming him and hitting him with flashlights. Robinson, who was still in the process of recovering from a stroke he had suffered less than a month earlier, shortly before Christmas, succumbed to a subdural hemorrhage at the University of Mississippi Medical Center that evening.

Charges against only one of three officers involved would stick.

In August 2022, a jury convicted Anthony Fox of negligent manslaughter in connection with Robinson’s death. Hinds County Circuit Judge Adrienne Wooten sentenced Fox to 20 years, with 15 years suspended, resulting in a total of five years of imprisonment.

However, on July 10, 2023, Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch petitioned a state appeals court to overturn Fox’s sentence. According to Fitch’s filing, Robinson, who was 62, had preexisting health issues and was on medication, experienced a seizure and, two days later, passed away due to a subdural hematoma. Fitch argued that the conviction should not be upheld.

Throughout the summer, Bettersten had been taking to social media and asking people to help her find her son, but to no avail, but with the last call, the mom said, “I knew he was dead.”

Bettersten paid a $250 fee to the coroner’s office and is now able to claim Dexter’s body. She’s now working on raising funds to have her son exhumed and laid to rest in a proper grave.

The Jackson Police Department responded to reporters’ inquiries about the case this week. Jackson Police Director of Communications Melissa Faith Payne told local station WLBT: “Through collaborative efforts, they were able to close the missing person’s case, by identifying Dexter Wade as the pedestrian who was killed. While this is a very tragic and unfortunate accident, our investigation found no malicious intent by any Jackson police staff.”

Read the original story here.

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