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Police investigating suspicious West Point death


Nicholas Phyfer, left, and Kaylee Rhea

Nicholas Phyfer, left, and Kaylee Rhea



Isabelle Altman



Officers with the West Point Police Department are investigating the death of a Clay County man, according to a department press release. 


David Ryals, 48, of 713 Dix St., was pronounced dead at the North Mississippi Medical Center in West Point Sunday afternoon. First responders, including WPPD officers, found him in need of medical treatment at a residence on his street. Ryals was unresponsive by the time an ambulance arrived at the scene a few minutes later, the press release stated.  


The release said police were called to the scene because of an apparent altercation. 


Authorities have scheduled an autopsy for Tuesday to determine the exact cause of Ryals' death.  


Police are investigating Nicholas Phyfer, 25, of 288 East St., and Kaylee Rhea, 22, of 9377 Baker Road, in connection with Ryals' death, the press release said. Phyfer is currently in custody at the Clay County Jail on an unrelated trespassing charge. 


"We're still investigating what led to the altercation and charges may be pending depending on the results of the autopsy report," WPPD Chief Tim Brinkley said in the release. "There are some extenuating circumstances and the (District Attorney's) Office has been fully briefed." 


District Attorney Scott Colom would not comment on the record about the case. 


Both Phyfer and Rhea were initially held on suspicion of murder, according to the Clay County Jail's website, but Rhea has since been released. 


Authorities are asking anyone with information to contact Golden Triangle Crime Stoppers at 1-800-530-7151 or WPPD at 494-1244.




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