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Crystal Welch, MFP Board Vice President, Dies in Ridgeland Triple Homicide; Suspect Killed

Mississippi Board of Directors Vice President Crystal Lynn Welch, a 42-year-old Mississippi College School of Law instructor who devoted her life to social-justice work, was the victim of a triple homicide over the Mother’s Day weekend. 

Ridgeland Chief of Police Brian Myers said in a statement on Monday that officers entered a home on Old Canton Road on Mother’s Day, May 12, and found the bodies of Crystal Welch along with her mother, Ida Thomas Welch, 76, and her sister, Vicky Renee Welch, 56.

The statement said police entered the home “after family members contacted Ridgeland PD regarding the welfare of the occupants at the home” and that all three “had been shot to death in the home.” The statement said Ridgeland Police processed the crime scene with assistance from the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation.

In a follow-up statement this afternoon, Myers identified the suspect as Ivory James Welch III—the son of Ida Welch and brother of Vicky Renee and Crystal Welch—and said he had died in a shootout.

“An arrest warrant was obtained and the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force began searching for Welch. Welch managed to get to Arizona before being located by Troopers with the Arizona Department of Public Safety,” Myers’ statement says. “Arizona State Troopers attempted to apprehend Welch and he fired upon the Troopers and was fatally wounded in the gunfight.”

Crystal Welch was well-known for her legal and advocacy work in Mississippi. She served as the board president for the American Civil Liberties Union of Mississippi; and at Mississippi College, she taught and practiced adoption law and youth court law. She also served as the supervising attorney for Mississippi College School of Law’s Family and Children’s Law Center; and served on numerous boards for legal and social-justice-oriented organizations.

In 2020, Crystal Welch was one of the behind-the-scenes figures leading the successful effort at the Mississippi Legislature to convince lawmakers to retire the old Confederate-themed state flag in favor of a completely new one to represent all Mississippians.

“I believe there was a shift in Mississippi. People in the past had assumed the flag issue was

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