By Angie Thompson
BERRIEN COUNTY -- An Enigma man sought for the weekend murder of his ex-wife killed himself near a cotton field Monday as law enforcement surrounded him in the field.
Dead is 55-year-old Edward Lee Knight, who led authorities on a chase Monday morning in Berrien County that ended just west of Alapaha. The suicide ended a deadly weekend which included the fatal shooting of Knight's ex-wife, Marsha Hughes Knight.
One of Marsha Knight's brothers reported her missing at 9 a.m. Sunday. She didn't return home Saturday night after attending a dance at the Nashville VFW. The brother thought something must be wrong because his 52-year-old sister lived with and took care of their mother in Nashville.
Friends told investigators that Marsha Hughes Knight's ex-husband, Edward Lee Knight, 55, was also at the VFW Saturday night. Knight moved back to Enigma from Mississippi several months ago.
When investigators with the Berrien County Sheriff's office learned that Marsha was last seen at the VFW approaching Edward to say hello, Edward became the suspect in a possible kidnapping.
"She didn't come back to the table and the friends couldn't find her," Berrien County Sheriff Jerry Brogdon said.
Brogdon said he knew Marsha and she wouldn't have left with Edward of her own free will.
"She wouldn't have left voluntarily with him," Brogdon said. Brogdon said the couple's divorce was difficult.
Sunday afternoon, Brogdon said personnel at the jail called to tell him two boys had found a body on the side of County Highway 37 beside a cotton field. That body was identified
See MURDER, Page 3A
as Marsha Knight's.
"The GBI said she died of gunshot wounds," Brogdon said. "Murder and kidnapping warrants for Knight's arrest were issued."
Brogdon said several cellular telephone companies assisted authorities in tracking calls made between Edward Lee Knight and his family -- calls made from Albany, Cordele and Broxton. At 12:30 a.m. Monday, Brogdon was able to talk with Knight and urged him to come to his office to talk.
"He indicated to me that he didn't think he could do that and we would find him the same way we found her (Marsha)," Brogdon said.
Knight's brother, Alvin Knight, called Coffee County E-911 around 6 a.m. Monday and said Knight was on his way to Berrien County to turn himself over to authorities.
"Alltell was able to tell us he was near Alapaha because there is a tower there," Brogdon said. "We have been talking with Alltell and Cellular non-stop for hours."
A Berrien County deputy spotted Knight's vehicle. Knight did not surrender and eluded law enforcement, including Georgia State Troopers and officials with the Tift County Sheriff's Department. Officials thought at one point Knight would surrender himself in a field, but he returned to his car and took off again. Search and rescue dogs and trainers from Valdosta State Prison assisted in the search when Knight ran on foot toward woods.
"I was really hoping it wouldn't end this way," Brogdon said.
Officials found Knight's body off Gladys Road mid-morning, approximately one-quarter of a mile behind Carolyn Griffin's home. Griffin said she thought the siren was an ambulance.
"I just thank the Lord he didn't hurt someone else," Griffin said. "It is getting to where it is coming right to our doors."
Marcia Hughes Knight's funeral arrangements are being handled by Lovein Funeral Home, Inc., in Nashville. Arrangements are incomplete.
Edward Lee Knight's funeral arrangements are being handled by Boone-Lipsey Funeral Home, Inc., in Adel. According to his obituary information, he was employed as a plant engineer for Georgia Pacific.
According to Brogdon, the Knights had no children.
To contact reporter Angie Thompson, call 382-4321, ext. 208.
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