Left and Right: Jerry circa, 1977
Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance
Missing Since: December 23, 1977
Missing From: Hernando, DeSoto County, Mississippi
Classification: Endangered Missing
Date Of Birth: August 1, 1960
Age: 17 years old
Height and Weight: 5’6″ and 145 pounds
Distinguishing Characteristics: African American Male, Black hair, Brown eyes, Jack has a scar over his left eye
Clothing/Jewelry Description: A dark green suite, a yellow shirt, a green tie, and black shoes with stacked heels
NCMEC Number: 1169791
Details of Disappearance
Jerry was last seen in Hernando, Mississippi on December 23rd 1977. On that night, Jerry had dinner with his family and then went to a Christmas dance with his girlfriend at the National Guard armory. After the dance concluded, Jerry drove his girlfriend back to her house. He disappeared after this and has never been seen or heard from since.
Jerry was last known to be driving his brother, James, car at the time of his disappearance. The car was described as a white two door 1973 Pontiac LeMans. The car has red and black racing stripes on the side as well as the Mississippi license plate number DAY 485 on it. The car has never been located.
Jerry’s parents searched for him when he didn’t return home by 12:30 am. He promised to be back by 12:00 am. His family reported his disappearance the next day. Investigators initially assumed he had left on his own accord. Multiple people tried to make it seem like this is what happened but his family never believed it. Jerry has many good opportunities coming for him and he had no reason to leave.
Jerry also had Christmas presents in the back of his car for his siblings so he definitely had the intentions of returning back home. Jerry’s siblings and family believe he was murdered and that his disappearance was racially motivated. At the time, Jerry’s brother James was in an interracial relationship with a Caucasian girl. Jerry was borrowing James car that night and it’s assumed he was probably mistaken for James due to that.
His brother, Johnny, believes Jerry’s murderer was Caucasian and a current or previous member of the Ku Klux Klan or more commonly known as the “KKK.” It’s also been noted that many Caucasian guys were unhappy with the fact that Jerry was the head quarterback of the schools football team. They did not agree with it and they resented the whole thing.
Jerry’s girlfriends home is located in the eastern DeSoto community of Dark Corners, just south of the Byhalia and Craft Road intersection. It’s believed he was stopped on Craft Road and was attacked and killed. Johnny believes the murder was planned out by the Klan including the plan to bury the car and they planned to block off the road so he couldn’t get away.
Multiple rumors have spread regarding Jerry’s presumed murder. Investigators have also stated that multiple witnesses in the case have been intimated by the presence of law enforcement. Jerry’s family has also received death threats and such and have been told to back off from the case. It’s possible Jerry’s remains were buried in a landfill after his presumed death.
Johnny has criticized the police for mishandling the investigation into Jerry’s disappearance and said they did not thoroughly investigate the case when he was reported as missing in 1977. More current investigators have revealed that valuable documents were missing from the missing persons file on Jerry.
In 2009, the case received media exposure after human skeletal remains were discovered along a riverbank in Poinsett County, Arkansas. The remains matched Jerry’s description but subsequent DNA tests revealed the remains did not belong to him. He remains missing.
In February of 1984, James was killed under suspicious circumstances in Tate County, Mississippi. Investigators originally classified his death as a suicide and said he shot himself in the chest. His mother and younger brother, Jimmy, did not believe this. Jimmy has spent the whole weekend with James and said he didn’t appear to show any behavior indicating suicide.
The coroners report states, however, that James died from cardiac arrest. Johnny has stated he believes his brother was “scared to death.” Investigators have found no evidence to indicate James death was anything other than a suicide. It’s unknown if James death has anything to do with Jerry’s disappearance several years before.
At the time of his disappearance, Jerry had a steady relationship with his girlfriend and a good paying job at a Coldwater Has Station. He was a senior student at Hernando High School and was the head quarterback of his football team. Jerry was described as an ordinary teenager at the time of his disappearance and had no real enemies at the time and no one who wanted or harm him.
Jerry’s disappearance remains unsolved and foul play is suspected. His mother passed away in 1987 but his siblings are alive and continue to seek his killer and his remains.
If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
DeSoto County Sheriff’s Office 662-429-1470
Mississippi Bureau of Investigation 662-934-3029
The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
Federal Bureau of Investigation