Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Shelby Dawson Harmon (20), Mississippi Native Found Dead - Suspected Victim of Domestic Violence Sparks "Justice for Shelby" Campaign

An investigation is currently under way into the death of a 20 year old woman found early Saturday morning. Shelby Dawson Harmon was was killed 20 October 2012, while walking down Highway 61 somewhere near the Choctaw Community in Mississippi. Information obtained from other sources indicated to SuperTalk Mississippi that Warren Strain with the Mississippi Department of Public Safety, reported that both the Mississippi Highway Patrol and Mississippi Bureau of Investigation are assisting the Bolivar County Sheriff’s Department in the investigation.

Specific details into the tragic death of this young woman are some what of a mystery at this point but allegations range from a hit and run to murder stemming from domestic violence. Various stories have surfaced from numerous sources and it will be up to the authorities to sort out all of the details and facts associated with the case. The primary focus is being placed on a report that Shelby was allegedly murdered after breaking up with her boyfriend. In a statement obtained from the victims mother, she stated that Shelby contacted a friend after a fight ending in a breakup with her boyfriend at a residence in Cleveland, Ms which she shared with him across from the crime scene. The victim was apparently struck by a vehicle and killed, but due to the circumstances surrounding the fight and questions of how she ended up in the street following the altercation, has raised suspicion as to her being a murder victim as a result of domestic violence. Shelby was struck at least once by the truck driven by her boyfriend and then knocked into oncoming traffic and run over at least two more times. The estranged boyfriend was taken into custody but has now been released pending the investigation. It has been reported that no charges have been filed against him at this time and that he was actually taken into protective custody due to death threats. These reports have not been confirmed at this time but updates will be provided as it is officially released.

Tayna Carter, a reporter for WABG out of Greenville, Mississippi reported that Harmon was murdered as the result of domestic violence after she told her boyfriend, 23 year-old Rodney Shelton Fulgham she was leaving him. The following is a quote from the reporters Facebook earlier this morning. "THE MISSISSIPPI BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION IS STILL ON TOP OF THE CASE, WITH EVIDENCE BEING TAKEN TO THE CRIME LAB IN BATESVILLE FOR PROCESSING AND DNA TESTING INCLUDING THE THREE VEHICLES THAT STRUCK HARMON. NO CHARGES HAVE BEEN FILED AT THIS TIME PENDING THE OUTCOME OF THE M-B-I INVESTIGATION. BOLIVAR COUNTY CORONER NATE BROWN RETRACTING HARMON'S DEATH AS A HOMICIDE TO UNDETERMINED ALLOWING M-B-I COMPLETION OF THEIR INVESTIGATION. BROWN STATING M-B-I REQUESTING AN AUTOPSY REPORT BUT HARMON ALREADY CREMATED MONDAY."

It is apparent that this case is far from being solved but it is also evident that there is a growing unrest erupting from not only the victims family, friends, and community, but now the entire United States is aware of her death and the story is being covered by local broadcasting such as WMC-TV in Memphis, Tennessee and national news media such as CNN. Shelby's story is gaining steam and the public is beginning to speak out. We are in the middle of October, which has been nationally recognized as Domestic Violence Awareness Month and it has been reported that Mississippi possibly ranks as high as fourth in the nation with domestic violence resulting in murder statistics. New laws have been implemented to protect victims of domestic violence but it seems that far too many incidents are still being reported, some with tragic endings.

A Facebook fan page in memory of Shelby was created a little more than twenty four hours ago by Jennie Jean Bills and already has nearly 12,000 "like's" in support of getting justice for Shelby. This firestorm page is called Justice for Shelby and it is clear that people from all corners of the globe are not only offering prayers and support for the victim and her family but are also demanding justice be served. The page is not only honoring and remembering a young woman but also keeping the world updated on the latest news surrounding her death. They are working to organize protest outside the local courthouse in response to the release of the victims boyfriend, Rodney Fulgham. Request are being made for calls into the local sheriff's department, district attorney's office, Mississippi Bureau of Investigation, and Mississippi Attorney Generals office for a thorough investigation. They have also requested that motorist traveling near the court house or local sherriff's department "honk" their horn in memory of Shelby and to also remind officials that she will not be forgotten and that "this" is not simply going away.

On a side note, there has also been another Facebook page created by an unidentified person but instead of gaining support and popularity, with a mere 29 "like's", has sparked a heated uprising due to the content that is being published there. Numerous request have been made to Facebook to remove the page called Shelton Fulgham is Innocent but as of this time, it is still online. This page has made derogatory remarks and posted grotesque pictures which make fun of the victim. From the post that are being documented, it is clear that this issue will not simply go away and tension is mounting as pressure increases for a response. "This page is disgusting and worthy of a response from Facebook...", stated one the subscribers.

It has been reported that the victim graduated from high school with a 4.0 GPA and also obtained an Associates Degree from Mississippi Delta Community College. By all accounts, Shelby was full of life and eager to continue her education.

Shelby was born on June 4, 1990 in the Mississippi Delta and a celebration of her life will be held today at Calvary Baptist Chapel, located at 36 Ward- Riddick Rd Parchman, MS . Visitation will be at 6:00 p.m. and the service at 7:00 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be sent to the Robert Neal Food Pantry in care of Calvary Baptist Chapel, mailing address: P.O. Box 66 Rome, MS 38768.

A site has also been set up to accept donations in memory of Shelby. The details regarding the fundraiser and link are as follows:

 
"Shelby Dawson Harmon was the victim of domestic violence. We are trying to raise money to make decals and for the family to help with expenses and legal fees. Please donate if you're able. Any little bit helps! Everything donated will be sent directly to the family."
 
 
Online condolences can be made through Ray Funeral Home by accessing "In Memory of Shelby Dawson Harmon: 1990-2012".
 
 
 
Shelby Dawson Harmon


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