Man who murdered ex-wife among state's most wanted

Ridgeland apartments last known address


RIDGELAND — One of the state’s most wanted, a man sought for parole violations in connection with the murder of his ex-wife in Jones County, was last known to be living at an apartment complex here.

Harold Lee Higgins, 63, is wanted by the Mississippi Department of Corrections and the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation for absconding supervision. Higgins was released on conditional parole but has failed to report to his parole officer since March 2016

Higgins (aka “Big Bird” or “Bird") was previously charged and convicted in the 1980s of murder in Jones County Circuit Court after he beat his ex-wife, Cynthia Higgins, and then shot her to death inside the trailer they shared. 

Higgins was released on conditional parole but has failed to report to his parole officer since March 2016.

Mississippi Department of Public Safety says that he had a last known address at Northbrook Apartments, 107 Pine Knoll Drive, APT 103.

Higgins is described as a white male with brown hair and brown eyes. He is said to be about 6’4” and weighs 200 pounds.

Higgins has been known to go by the name “Big Bird’ Higgins or just “Bird” Higgins.

Higgins's murder conviction from the Circuit Court of Jones County would make it to the State Supreme Court in February of 1987. The court declined to overturn the lower court’s conviction and life sentence.

Court filings say the conviction stemmed from an incident on Dec. 4, 1985, when Cynthia Higgins was found dead in a trailer where the previously divorced couple cohabitated.

Filings say they had moved into the small travel trailer located on Harold Higgins’ grandfather’s property about five months prior.

On that date, police were summoned to the trailer where they found Cynthia Higgins, lying on her back in the kitchen and living room area of the trailer with a large amount of blood around her head.

Officers on scene observed that she was found about three and a half feet from the door. A large pool of blood was also found in the hallway with a pistoling next to it. 

The cause of death was determined to be a gunshot wound to the “right orbit in the medial aspect of the eye.”

She also had abrasions about her face and head, determined by the pathologist to have been inflicted within minutes prior to her death.

At trial, Harold Higgins claimed that the abrasions were incurred while repairing a dresser and form falling first aid kit. 

He said that he was outside working in the yard and that she had accidentally shot herself while banging on something apparently with the gun. 

He claims he heard the gunshot and went inside to investigate. While inside he says he emptied the gun and moved his ex-wife to administer CPR.

A deputy said that Harold Higgins told him this story when he arrived and that he then made a mistake in examining the gun.

"I shouldn't have done it, but I picked the gun up,” He said.

No prints of any value were ever recovered from the gun.

During the trial, a witness testified that Harold Higgins had threatened Cynthia with a gun on three occasions. Higgins denied these claims.

A release from MPDS warns that Higgins reportedly has extremely violent tendencies and should be considered armed and dangerous.

The most wanted list was issued on Thursday, Jan. 7. Public Safety Commissioner Sean Tindell said that the list is compiled by the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation in conjunction with law enforcement across the state.

"The individuals on this list pose a very serious threat to our communities," Tindell said. "We are asking for the public’s assistance in locating these individuals. It is our hope that Mississippi’s Most Wanted list will increase exposure and lead to the capture and arrest of these fugitives."

A release from the Mississippi Department of Public Safety warns that Higgins reportedly has extremely violent tendencies and should be considered armed and dangerous.

In just under a week’s time, Mississippi law enforcement officials have apprehended about half of the ten-man list.

"It is my hope that with this list, Mississippians can help capture the fugitives labeled as Mississippi’s Most Wanted," Gov. Tate Reeves said. "We can work together and make this great state safer."

On Friday, Jan. 8, the man at the top of the list, Allan D. Henderson, 48, was arrested by MBI and the US Marshall Service Taskforce without incident in the Jackson area. 

He was first held at the Madison County Detention Center before being taken into custody by MDOC. Henderson was granted an earned time release by the Mississippi Department of Corrections in 2016 but has failed to report to his probation officer since February 2019. 

Henderson was previously convicted for manslaughter after he strangled his girlfriend to death and left her body outside of a daycare in Pearl. 

Henderson was also convicted of child abandonment after he left his girlfriend’s nine-month-old child with her deceased body and fled the crime scene. 

Tindal has said that Henderson had been working as a pastor for some time. He had a last known address in Jackson.

MBI Director Lt. Col. Lee Morrison said the rollout of the list has been a success.

“The immediate success of the program is truly a collaborative effort between the citizens of this state and law enforcement,” Morrison said. 

Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Higgins or anyone else on the list is encouraged to please contact the Mississippi Department of Corrections at (601) 359-5600 or contact Mississippi Crime Stoppers at 1-888-8CRIMES (1-888-827- 4637). 

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