Tag Archive for: Tallahatchie river bottom

NEMiss.News Jessica Stacks flier in store window



Two years ago today, Jessica Stacks, then age 28, was reported missing in rural Union County.

Stacks was said to have gotten into a small boat with a male companion on the flooded Tallahatchie River early New Year’s day morning.

Her male companion, Jerry Wayne Baggett, told authorities that Stacks asked to get out of the boat onto the northern bank of the river, after the boat had been in the water only a short while. Baggett said Stacks was going to try to walk through the flooded river bottom to Highway 30, about a mile away.

She was not reported missing until late New Year’s Day night.

Over the following few months, state and local public safety workers made an exhaustive search for Stacks using state-of-the-art electronic equipment, helicopters, and cadaver dogs. Authorities spent thousands of man hours and hundreds of thousands of dollars of public resources trying to find Stacks.

They followed clues and tips, some helpful, some not. The case drew national attention and more than a little in the way of advice from social media sleuths, spiritualists and sooth-sayers.

However, two years later there is not enough physical evidence to even determine whether or not a crime has been committed. Having found no body, authorities do not know whether Stacks is dead or alive.

Certainly, there has been no shortage of suspicions and even silly allegations of official skullduggery.

Union County Sheriff Jimmy Edwards told NEMiss.News, Saturday evening, December 31, 2022, “It’s still an open case. We welcome any new information that may help us determine what happened to Jessica Stacks.”

Edwards and District Attorney Ben Creekmore met during October, 2022, and carefully reviewed information developed during the long investigation. The sheriff said District Attorney Creekmore determined, “I don’t think we have enough to get an indictment and go to a jury trial with it.”

Around 660,000 people are reported missing in the United States every year. On average, all but about 2,000 of the missing individuals are found, dead or alive, before the year is over.

“We’re still working the case and will pursue it until we get it resolved,” said Sheriff Edwards.

NEMiss.News published about 15 articles about the disappearance of Jessica Stacks and the search for her. Readers may read any or all of those stories by clicking the links below:

1-2-21 5:50pm  https://newalbanyunionco.com/search-for-woman-missing-along-tallahatchie-river-to-resume-at-8-a-m-sunday/

1-2-21 7 pm https://newalbanyunionco.com/missing-woman-update-search-with-thermal-imaging-drones-continues/

1-4-21  https://newalbanyunionco.com/tallahatchie-stacks-still-missing/

1-5-21 https://newalbanyunionco.com/officials-exhausting-options-in-search-for-woman-missing-in-tallahatchie-river-bottom/

1-7-21  https://newalbanyunionco.com/woman-still-missing-with-no-new-clues-after-nearly-weeks-search/

1-11-21  https://newalbanyunionco.com/stacks-missing-ten-days-sheriff-not-ready-to-quit-looking/

1-12-21  https://newalbanyunionco.com/sheriff-needs-facts-not-facebook-gossip-social-media-hindering-stacks-search/

1-20-21 https://newalbanyunionco.com/jessica-stacks-search-continues/

1-20-21 https://newalbanyunionco.com/county-buying-search-boat/

1-24-21  https://newalbanyunionco.com/search-rescue-technology-assistance/

1-29-21 https://newalbanyunionco.com/sheriff-continuing-stacks-search/

2-25-21 https://newalbanyunionco.com/national-weather-service-flood-warnings-northeast-ms-rivers/

3-1-21  https://newalbanyunionco.com/jessica-stacks-disappearance-two-month-follow-up/

9-30-21 https://newalbanyunionco.com/jessica-stacks-missing-since-new-years-day-a-nine-month-review-of-the-search-and-investigation/

1-1-22 https://newalbanyunionco.com/a-look-back-on-2021-a-year-of-loss-and-change/

Please share any thoughts, comments or questions in the Comments section below!


NEMiss.news Tallahatchie River at Co Rd 46


Two months ago today – New Year’s Day – Jessica Stacks, age 28, of the Harmony Community in western Union County, was reported missing.

Stacks was said to have gotten into a boat on the flooded Tallahatchie River with Jerry Wayne Baggett, age 45, early that morning.

Baggett told law enforcement authorities that he and Stacks had put the motorless boat in the river at the County Road 46 bridge, about a mile south of Mississippi Highway 30.

Union County Sheriff Jimmy Edwards said he was told that Willie Stinson, a Union County resident, helped Baggett and Stacks put the boat into the river.

According to Baggett, he and Stacks had been floating downstream only a short while when Stacks said she wanted to get out of the boat and walk out of the river bottom to Highway 30. Baggett said he let Stacks out of the boat on the right (north) bank of the river.

Tallahatchie River boat ramp NEMiss.News

Authorities say this is the ramp Jerry Wayne Baggett used to launch his motorless boat.

The river bottom was flooded at the time, and Stacks would have had to wade through flood waters to get to Highway 30.

Baggett said after letting Stacks out of the boat, he went on downstream some distance and got out of the river on the left bank.

Although Baggett said Stacks got out of the boat sometime Friday morning, it was 10:15 p.m. that night before she was reported missing.

The Union Sheriff’s Office and the 25-member Union County Search and Rescue Team started searching for her immediately.

During the two months since New Year’s Day, the search for Jessica Stacks has included not only Union County law enforcement and emergency personnel but many other resources:

  • Drones with heat seeking cameras have searched the Tallahatchie River and nearby river bottom.
  • Teams of trained divers and cadaver dogs from Mississippi and two other states have searched the river.
  • A helicopter from the Mississippi Highway Patrol was used.
  • Searchers have criss-crossed the river bottom with all terrain vehicles (ATVs).

Law enforcement efforts have been hindered more than helped by extensive speculation on social media, specifically Facebook. Individuals claiming to know something about what happened to Jessica Stacks have posted their theories and speculations on Facebook, sending law enforcement officials on wild goose chases, following fruitless “leads.”

Union County Sheriff Jimmy Edwards told NEMiss.News yesterday that someone posted something on Facebook on Saturday, Feb. 20, saying they “knew where Jessica Stacks was buried.”

Deputies checked on the person who “knew were Jessica was buried,” but no usable information resulted.
Then on Sunday afternoon, Feb. 21, someone called saying they were riding an ATV and saw a body under the Rocky Ford bridge.

Tallahatchie River out of banks 2-27-28

The Tallahatchie slightly out of its banks this past weekend.

The caller was told to stay at the scene, and county deputies raced to the scene on dangerous blacktop roads. However, when deputies got to the Rocky Ford bridge, nobody was there and officers found no footprints or ATV tracks in the snow that would indicate anyone had actually been there.

Sheriff Edwards said an attempt will be made to trace the call with a subpoena of telephone records, but, he said, even if law enforcement turns up the telephone that made the call, “I’m not sure we can prove who was holding the phone when the call was made.”

The case of the missing Jessica Stacks has drawn extraordinary interest, not just locally but from other states as well. The growth of the Internet and social media, especially Facebook, has given rise to a swarm of wanna-be detectives, “psychics,” people who have visions and see things in dreams, etc. A great many such self-anointed experts have contacted and “advised” local law enforcement with their opinions and criticisms about where Jessica Stacks might be. None have produced useful information but dealing with them has taken up a great deal of the time and energy of local law enforcement officers.

Two months have gone by. Many hundreds of man hours and many thousands of dollars worth of resources have been used, but Jessica Stacks is still missing.

“It is still an active case,” Edwards told NEMiss.News yesterday. “We will continue to follow every lead we get in our efforts to find Jessica Stacks.”