MARSHALL COUNTY, MS (abc24.com) – Two arrests have already been made in the Christmas Day shooting of 16-year-old Memphis girl, Derica Patterson. She was shot and killed about 2:30 Christmas morning in Marshall County, Mississippi.
As of Monday, January 2, 2012, the hunt was still on for a third suspect, and for awhile that morning deputies thought they had a great lead on their guy.
There was exhilaration for a brief time when reports of a Rico Fleming sighting in Fayette County, Tennessee started coming in; Marshall County deputies wasted no time hitting the road to investigate.
“There was an initial call that came in earlier today,” said Major Kelly McMillen of the Marshall County Sheriff’s Office, “that Fleming had possibly been spotted or was involved in an altercation in Fayette County. We did, in fact, prove that statement was false.”
Fleming was thought to have been driving on Highway 76 in Fayette County after assaulting a woman.
There was an assault, but McMillen said Rico didn’t do it.
“We were excited about it from the beginning, from the calls we were getting. But, as we continued the interview, it didn’t go in that direction. It just kind of faded away and didn’t turn out to be anything,” McMillen explained.
So, one of the prime suspects in the shooting death of Derica Patterson is still on the run.
Rick Fleming is from the Fayette, County area, that’s why hopes were high.
McMillen told abc24.com, “We’re going to keep going and try to finalize it by getting Rico in custody, and close this thing out and give it to the DA’s Office.”
That would suit Fayette County residents just fine. They were freaked out by even the false Fleming sightings.
“That scares me,” said Dakota Booth, who lives in Fayette County, “I don’t like that.”
“I hope they catch him and throw the book at him,” said Fayette County resident Adam Norwood.
Major McMillen emphasized that there is a substantial reward being offered for information leading to Rico Fleming’s arrest.
If you know anything, call the Marshall County Sheriff's Department at (662) 252-1311 or CrimeStoppers at 1-800-729-2169.