Homicide victim in Cottonton, Ala., shooting is identified

benw@ledger-enquirer.comFebruary 19, 2014 

Investigators with the Russell County Sheriff’s Office are looking for Sayquawn Lamer Wiggins’ car after he was gunned down Wednesday afternoon in the cemetery of New Hope Baptist Church in Cottonton, Ala.

During a 4 p.m. Thursday news conference, Sheriff Heath Taylor wouldn’t comment on a possible motive but said no identification was found on Wiggins, 19, after deputies were called about 6:30 p.m. to New Hope Church Road, which dead ends at the church off of Alabama Highway 165.

Officials said Friday morning that the vehicle had been located.

The sheriff said the car is a white newer model Chevy Caprice with silver chrome rims. Wiggins of Phenix City is believed to have been in the vehicle on Wednesday and potentially drove to the scene. “It is possible he met up with somebody away from there and drove there,” Taylor said.

An autopsy completed Thursday at the Department of Forensic Sciences in Montgomery revealed Wiggins died of multiple gunshot wounds, said Russell County Coroner Arthur Sumbry Jr.

The sheriff said the time of death is between 3:15 p.m. and 6 p.m. Wiggins’ body was visible in the cemetery when the pastor and members arrived for Bible study at the church. “The preacher was one of the first there,” Taylor said. “Where the body was laying, it was readily visible.”

The sheriff doesn’t believe the body was dumped in the cemetery. “I think the indications are that it occurred there where Mr. Wiggins died,” he said. “I don’t think he was dumped there.”

Evidence at the scene indicated the type of weapon used in the slaying but it wasn’t disclosed.

Investigators have no suspects in the early stages of the shooting probe. “At this point, we have no real hard suspects,” the sheriff said.

With no identification or driver’s license, Wiggins was identified Thursday through records in the system.

“Obviously, we are still tracking friends and family,” the sheriff said. “We are doing cell phone searches for his cell phone. Those are things we are doing trying to develop leads.”

Wiggins was staying with his aunt in Phenix City and also with his mother in Opelika, Ala. He was unemployed but had worked at a fast food restaurant on Highway 80.

Anyone with information on the shooting or the victim’s car should call the Russell County Sheriff’s Office at 334-298-6535.

Ledger-Enquirer is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service