Did a Mississippi teen stumble onto a drug transaction in rural Pearl River County in 1989?
Updated: Aug 3, 2020
On the afternoon of August 21, 1989, 17-year-old Norman Ladner left his family's country store in Pearl River County, Mississippi to go hunting around their farm. When he didn't return for dinner at around 7 pm, his parents became worried.
They began searching around the Picayune, Mississippi, property, and his father enlisted the help of some friends. Shortly before 10 pm, his body was found; he had been shot to death.
Authorities were on the scene minutes later, and their first theory was that he was in a tree, had fallen out, and the gun had accidentally discharged, killing him. The coroner, at first, told his parents that he was almost certain that his death was an accident, and they accepted that.
However, when he released his official findings, he ruled the death a suicide, saying that he died from a close contact wound that entered his right temple and exited his left. His parents were certain that his death was not a suicide, as he was happy and had no evidence of depression.
Norman Ladner Sr,