Family says killer lured Mississippi man to Alabama with promise of cheap iPhone

Published 6:47 am Tuesday, May 26, 2020

A Mississippi man found shot to death in Alabama was lured across the state line by someone offering a cheap used iPhone, his family said.

Michael Jones, of Columbus, Miss., was traveling to meet with a seller on the “Letgo” trading app, according to Joshua Tatum, Jones’ brother-in-law.

Tatum told that the seller first offered to sell the phone in Tuscaloosa, Ala., but then lowered the price to get Jones to drive to Bessemer, nearly doubling his trip.

Jones’ large, close-knit family immediately began to search for him after he failed to show up for work.

They were able to track his phone to Tuscaloosa, and then Bessemer, and learned about his communications on Letgo. They tried to retrace his journey.

“We were looking for a car running off the road, not this,” said another relative, Martha Salone. “That last ping … all roads led to Bessemer.”

Bessemer police found his body with gunshot wounds in an abandoned house on Friday, police said.

Investigators from Bessemer and Mississippi are working together to determine who is responsible.

Jones’ wife and other relatives traveled again from Mississippi to Bessemer on Sunday to lay a floral cross and balloons at the crime scene.

They now want justice for Jones, 45, who also leaves behind two adult children.

“We want whoever did this to Michael to know, you’re going to get it,” Salone said. “Justice shall be served.”