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Man investigated for soliciting sex from minor apparently commits suicide

3-18-2010 Mississippi:

PICAYUNE — A county resident was found in his vehicle on the side of the road with a self inflicted gunshot wound the day after he was served with a search warrant on his home. The search was the product of an investigation conducted by the Louisiana State Police alleging 49 year-old Kirt Lawrence, of 19 North Fork Dr., Carriere, had attempted to solicit sex from a Louisiana minor over the Internet. Since Lawrence lived in Mississippi, the warrant was issued and served by Mississippi Bureau of Investigations.

A trooper with the Louisiana State Police helped serve that warrant on March 10, said Louisiana State Police Troop I Public Information Officer Stephen Hammons. The next day, on March 11, the Pearl River County Sheriff’s Department received a call that there was a vehicle parked near a bridge construction site on Burnt Bridge Road. The caller stated that it appeared a man was deceased in the vehicle.

Deputies responded to the scene to find Lawrence in the vehicle with what appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound, said Chief Investigator Donnie Saucier. Pearl River County Coroner Derek Turnage said Lawrence’s cause of death was officially listed as a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. Hammons said Lawrence was part of the beginning stages of an investigation into alleged online solicitation of minors for sexual purposes.

Using evidence discovered in that investigation, the Louisiana State Police, along with personnel from the Mississippi Bureau of Investigations, conducted the search of his home the day before he was found dead. In the search, Lawrence’s computer was seized and taken back to the Louisiana agency for further investigation.

Hammons said that based on the information found in the computer, the department was preparing a warrant for his arrest. Lawrence’s sister, Lynn Etherton, had only one comment about the death of her brother. “It doesn’t matter what he may or may not have done, we still love him all the same,” Etherton said. ..Source.. by Jeremy Pittari, Item Staff Writer

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