Handcuffs

The shooting victim whose body was discovered Sunday near the Leaf River in Eastabuchie with at least one gunshot wound to the head has been identified as 37-year-old Regino Ramon Santiago of Petal, Forrest County Coroner Butch Benedict said Wednesday.

Felipe Arce Ventura, 34, of Forrest County has been charged with murder in connection with the shooting death. He is being held in the Forrest County Jail on $500,000 bond.

Benedict said he began his investigation into the man’s identity about 9 a.m. Monday because law enforcement authorities in Jones, Covington and Forrest counties were involved in the apparent murder.

Capt. Phillip Hendricks of the Forrest County Sheriff’s Department said the incident was first believed to have stretched across the three counties. However, the crime scene later was narrowed to Forrest County.

Major Jamie Tedford of the Jones County Sheriff’s Department said the call about the discovery of the body near the Leaf River in Eastabuchie came in about 11 a.m. on Sunday, November 24. The body was found close to the boat ramp in Eastabuchie Park.

According to authorities, a vehicle that might have been connected to the shooting was discovered in Covington County.

Kevin Williamson contributed to this report.

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