First Homicide of Year, BPD Searching for Murder Suspect


March 20, 2006 – Posted at 5:39 p.m. CST

BLYTHEVILLE, AR -- Blytheville police are working their first homicide this year after a weekend shooting leaves a Region 8 woman dead.

Authorities in Mississippi County are working with Memphis police, searching for the suspected killer, 40-year-old Leon Jackson of Blytheville.

29-year-old Kenya Thigpen died Saturday evening from multiple gunshot wounds to her chest and arms... and while it may be Blytheville 's first homicide, it's rattled a normally calm neighborhood.

"We were shocked of course, this has been a quiet neighborhood and we've lived here approximately 40 years," said neighbor Norma Westbrook.

It's a crime that has left this calm Blytheville neighborhood in disbelief. Saturday evening around 11:00, Blytheville Police arrived at 1523 Willow Street after Thigpen called 911. She told officials she had been shot and the man who pulled the trigger was her boyfriend.

Police are now on the hunt for Jackson, who is considered armed and dangerous.

"From what I understand, they've been together several years. We've never had any problems with them, no calls about them arguing or fighting in the past," said Lt. Dave Flora of the Blytheville Police Department.

"A lot of cars coming and going, but as far as that I have no idea. The name of the people, what they do. They were very much to themselves," said Westbrook.

Jackson does have a criminal record in Arkansas as well as Texas , but authorities hope he will come forward soon.

"A lawyer called me from Jonesboro representing his saying that he would turn himself in today, but at this time he hasn't done so," said Lt. Flora.

Jackson faces charges first degree murder charges and felony possession of a hand gun.

He was last seen driving a White 1998 Pontiac Grand Prix with Arkansas license tags LPN 928. If you have any information, please contact the Blytheville Police Department at 870-762-0405.