Missing Pregnant Woman Found Dead Days Before Due Date & Suspect Arrested

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An arrest has been made in the death of a 21-year-old pregnant woman whose body was found on Monday. 

Makayla Winston was on her way to show her sonogram to the baby’s father Thursday when she vanished. After days of searching, her body was discovered five miles from where her car was last seen. She was nine months pregnant.

Holmes County Sheriff Willie March told People that Terence Sample, 33, was arrested Monday night after turning himself in. Sample, who is believed to be Winston's boyfriend, faces charges of capital murder and murder in connection with the death of Winston and her unborn baby.

“He and his lawyer came in last night,” March said. He remains in jail and has not yet entered a plea.

According to March, Sample told police that he does not know Winston. “He denied being her boyfriend,” he said. It was not immediately clear if authorities believe that Sample is the baby’s father.

  • The young mother was due to give birth to her first baby on July 4.

    The expectant mom was last seen leaving her home in Goodman, Mississippi, about 9 p.m. Thursday. At the time of her disappearance, Winston’s mom, Yvetty Brown, told WLBT about their frantic search. 

    “We went looking to where we thought she would be, but she wasn’t there,” Brown said, before she filed a missing persons report. “I just want my baby home.”

    She added that Winston “was heading to show the sonogram to the baby’s father.”

    Investigators have sent her body to a state crime lab to determine a cause of death, which has yet to be released.

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  • “We think it could have been somebody who knew her,” Holmes County Sheriff Willie March told People. 

    Foul play was suspected from the start. Police found Winston’s car abandoned off a highway with the keys still in the ignition and a cellphone lying nearby the morning after she went missing, March told WCSC.

    Ominously, the phone had been wiped. “The cell phone was cleaned up so we’re also doing an investigation on the cellular phone, trying to find out what was erased,” March said.

  • Investigators are trying to track down a white vehicle that may be a lead in the case.

    According to March, it may have been parked behind Winton’s car at some point. “Kind of like an SUV. But no one knows who was driving the SUV.”

    Although there are no suspects in Winston’s death, authorities believe she knew her killer, March confirmed to People.

    “Let my baby go,” her mom pleaded before Winston's body was discovered, WJTV reported. “Let her come home and enjoy her first child because we love her … and we’re going to take care of the baby no matter what. So I just want my baby to come home.”

  • “She was a quiet person. She didn’t hang out. Mostly, she was around family," her mother said.

    While authorities wait for a report on Winston's cause of death, they are committed to getting justice for the pregnant woman and her family.

    “The investigation continues,” March said. “We are going to find out what happened to her. I feel very sorry for the family.”

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