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Suspect in shooting sought for murder; car found

A warrant has been issued for the shooting suspect and the car she was possibly driving was found in Ironton on Thursday.

A warrant for murder, a felony of the first-degree, was issued for Belinda S. Adkins, 41, of 143 Township Road 279E, South Point, the suspect in the shooting death of Joshua Jones that occurred in the South Point McDonald’s parking lot Wednesday afternoon.

Adkins fled the scene immediately following the shooting in what Lawrence County Sheriff’s detectives discovered was a 2008 white Chevy Malibu.

That car was recovered on Tenth Street in Ironton by sheriff’s detectives around 5 p.m. on Thursday. The vehicle had a coating of snow indicating that it had been there overnight. The vehicle was impounded and detectives were seeking a warrant to search it for evidence associated with the murder of Jones.

“My office has worked nonstop on this investigation,” said Lawrence County Sheriff Jeff Lawless. “We are focused on apprehending suspect Adkins as well as justice for Mr. Jones and his family.”

Adkins is a white female, 5’4” tall and weighs about 175 lbs. with black hair and blue eyes.

Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Adkins is asked to contact the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office at 740-532-3525.

During their preliminary investigation into the murder, detectives found out that  Jones and Adkins had planned to meet at the South Point McDonald’s parking lot, located at 295 County Road 406, South Point, with Jones assuming Adkins would exchange their daughter, whom he was to assume custody of.

Adkins did not bring their daughter with her and instead left the daughter with relatives.

Lawless said that the investigation remains very active, and Montgomery County will perform Jones’ autopsy.

Lawless thanked the following agencies for their hard work and assistance with the incident: Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office, Ohio State Highway Patrol, Huntington Police Department, Wayne County Sheriff’s Office, West Virginia State Police, BCI&I, Lawrence County EMS, U.S. Marshals and the Lawrence County Drug and Major Crimes Task Force. In addition, Lawless thanked South Point McDonald’s owner Steve Cielec and his employees for their kindness and assistance, as well as the numerous citizens who provided vital information.