A convicted murderer and rapist put to death by the State of Mississippi admitted to a second slaying during his final days.
David Neal Cox, 50, was executed on Nov. 17, 2021.
“Cox was pronounced dead at 6:12,” Mississippi Commissioner of Corrections Burl Cain said on the day he died. “He died peacefully and without incident. I’ve never seen an execution go smoother.”
He pleaded guilty and was convicted in 2012 for several charges related to a disturbing crime in 2010. During an hours-long kidnapping, he shot his estranged wife, Kim Cox, in the stomach. As she slowly lay dying, he repeatedly raped his stepdaughter while her mother was forced to watch.
The couple separated in 2009 after the stepdaughter told her mother that David Cox, her stepfather, sexually assaulted her. He was arrested but eventually released. In May 2010, David Cox purchased a handgun and two magazines for the eventual, gruesome home invasion that occurred at the Sherman, Miss. home of his sister-in-law.
That sister-in-law escaped with one of David Cox’s own children and called police on the fateful day in question.
But the dead man killed a different sister-in-law several years prior.
According to First Circuit District Attorney John Weddle, David Cox confessed to the slaying some three weeks before his execution.
In July 2007, 40-year-old Felicia Cox went missing. In time, she was presumed dead. Authorities insist that David Cox had long been the lone suspect in that 14-plus-year-old cold case.
“It appears Cox provided the alleged location details and an admission of guilt on or about October 26, 2021, to his attorneys and waived attorney-client privilege effective upon his death,” the DA said in a statement released Monday. “There was no indication anyone other than Cox is responsible for Felicia Cox’s death.”
Those admissions were made in a series of “hand-delivered writings” from the executed murderer which made their way to the Office of Capital Post-Conviction Counsel two days after his execution.
“The case has been open for a long time, 14½ years. We’ve never had the evidence that we needed to prosecute this,” Weddle said in comments to NBC News on Tuesday. “He’s always been a suspect because he was one of the last people to see her alive. But he never confessed to it. We didn’t have a body.”
Authorities are urging caution, however, and have so far declined to reveal the details of the murder–including the claimed location of the body–that David Cox posthumously provided to them.
“We would like to stress that locating the remains of Felicia Cox is not a foregone conclusion,” Weddle continued in the press release. “We are hopeful the information is accurate and that recovery efforts will be successful so that Felicia’s family may give her a proper burial.”
The DA’s office, in league with multiple law enforcement agencies in the area are currently finalizing search details, that release noted. Mississippi State University archeology and anthropology experts have also been tapped to help with the process.
Earlier this year, David Cox’s death, the quickness of which was the result of his Anabaptist faith and the concomitant waiving of appeals, took the honor of the Magnolia State’s first execution in nine years.
Survivor Lindsey Kirk came forward and spoke about watching her stepfather’s execution by the state. She expressed a level of ambivalence.
“When I found out that he was wanting to go ahead and get it over with, I wasn’t really happy about it. Like, I kind of just wanted him to sit there,” she told The Associated Press. “I guess I’m okay with it now.”
[image via mugshot]
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