PEARL RIVER COUNTY -- A sex offender wanted on a rape charge in Picayune has been found dead in a vehicle here.
Johnny Washington, 50, was found Wednesday night on Byrd Street, a dead-end road, Chief Deputy Shane Tucker said.
Washington was convicted on two counts of statutory rape Dec. 15, 2000, in Pearl River County.
Picayune police had issued an arrest warrant on the new charge and deputies were looking for him when they found his body in a green SUV.
"There was no obvious cause of death," Tucker said.
Coroner Derek Turnage said an autopsy was conducted in Jackson, but details on the cause and manner of death won't be released until a state medical examiner completes an investigation that includes a toxicology test.
The state sex offender registry shows Washington lived on Whitehead Lane in Carriere and last updated his information March 17.
He was on probation. After police obtained a warrant for his arrest, the state Department of Corrections ordered a probation warrant as well.
Police Chief Bryan Dawsey said the rape charged allegedly involved a 14-year-old girl. ..Source.. by ROBIN FITZGERALD