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Mahned Bridge

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Mahned Bridge

Photo taken by C Hanchey in January 2011

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BH Photo #192823

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The troubled history of Mahned Bridge 

Written by Brian R. Warren

Mahned, or what's left of it, stands at the end of Mahned Road with nothing to hint that it's even there on the north end other than a "road closed" sign where there is no obvious road. This part of the road is long gone, of course. As I write this, it's been 26 years since the last violent crime took place at the bridge. Authorities removed part of the deck on both ends and replaced dirt barriers in yet another effort to keep both vehicles and pedestrians from the bridge shortly after the murders of Robbie Bond and William Hatcher in May 1995(1).

The details of the crime are devastatingly brutal. 21-year-old Bond and 27-year-old Hatcher were co-workers and friends at the McAlister's Deli in Hattiesburg, approximately a half-hour's drive from the Mahned Bridge. On May 14, the two went to the bridge to star-gaze. They encountered cousins Kenneth (age 21) and William David Moody (age 14) while there. Hatcher was killed at the bridge, but Bond was beaten and stabbed and taken back to Kenneth's nearby trailer. The cousins sexually assaulted her and shoved a hose down her throat(2). Moody reportedly told police that that was how she was killed, but the coroner later reported that she had also died from blunt-force trauma.(3) Bond and Hatcher's bodies were discovered by investigators four days after the murders in shallow graves near Kenneth Moody's trailer. David Moody confessed to his part in the killings and is serving a life sentence, while Kenneth Moody is serving two consecutive life sentences(4,5).

This horrendous crime would have been bad enough in isolation, but it occurred in the recent wake of another crime, the details of which may never be known. September 10, 1993 was the last day anyone would see the pregnant 17-year-old Angela Lee Freeman. Freeman, who worked at a Pizza Hut in the town of Petal, just on the outskirts of Hattiesburg, left after working a night shift. Her car was found by the bridge later that day. It was bloodstained--with what proved later to be her blood--and her shoes were found nearby as well. No other trace of her was ever recovered(6).

If they were all still alive today (and the odds are very much against Freeman being alive), the female victims in these cases would be about the same age as my own wife. They were kids, with the better part of their lives ahead of them. In Angela's case, she also would have been mother to a son, Christian, in less than half-a-year's time(6). Hatcher, too, at 27, may have had many decades of life to go. Two of the families in these cases at least had the closure of knowing the fates of their loved ones; the Freemans still hold out hope that Angela is alive somewhere, but I suspect that is not the case and closure of any meaningful kind will always elude them. What worse tragedy could befall a parent than that?

The county officials' last effort to render the bridge inaccessible seems to have proven effective. During my recent visit, no one else was present, the entrance to the north side as well as much of the bank surrounding it were significantly choked with weedy debris. Viewing the deck from the ground nearby, it seemed obvious that the average person could no longer use the bridge to traverse the river on foot either. And yet, to me--an outsider with only the knowledge gleaned from internet accounts as well as contemporaneous news stories of the real-life horror stories inextricably linked to the place--it seemed like any other derelict bridge, its original use now obsolete and its very presence seemingly forgotten. To those whose lives were forever altered by the events that took place there, though, I don't think it will ever be forgotten.

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(1) "Mahned Bridge Traffic Stopped; Authorities Close Site of Two Killings." Biloxi Sun-Herald, C2, June 24 1995.
(2) "Teen Admits to Part in Perry County Killings." Biloxi Sun-Herald, C1, May 27 1995.
(3) "Coroner: blows to head killed pair." Biloxi Sun-Herald, C2, May 23 1995.
(4) "Killer of Hattiesburg Couple Sentenced to Two Consecutive Life Terms." Biloxi Sun-Herald, A3, April 13 2001.
(5) "Another Moody Cousin Jailed in Slayings." Biloxi Sun-Herald, A8, December 22, 2001.
(6) Beveridge, Lici. "25 Years: 'We Will Never Stop Our Search for Angela.'" Hattiesburg American, June 9 2018.

Facts 

Overview
Two-span through truss bridge over Leaf River on Mahned Road
Location
Perry County, Mississippi
Status
Derelict
History
Built 1903 by the Chicago Bridge & Iron Co.
Builder
- Chicago Bridge & Iron Co. of Chicago, Illinois
Design
One Camelback through truss span and one Pratt through truss span
Dimensions
Length of largest span: 220.1 ft.
Total length: 977.7 ft.
Deck width: 14.7 ft.
Vertical clearance above deck: 16.0 ft.
Recognition
Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on November 24, 1997
Approximate latitude, longitude
+31.22648, -89.08749   (decimal degrees)
31°13'35" N, 89°05'15" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
16/301167/3456580 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
New Augusta
Land survey
T. 3 N., R. 11 W., Sec. 15
Average daily traffic (as of 2014)
1
Inventory numbers
NRHP 97001379 (National Register of Historic Places reference number)
BH 22919 (Bridgehunter.com ID)
Inspection report (as of January 2018)
Sufficiency rating: 17 (out of 100)
View more at BridgeReports.com

Update Log 

  • March 3, 2021: Essay added by Brian R. Warren
  • March 2, 2021: New photos from Brian R. Warren
  • September 1, 2019: New photo from Melissa Brand-Welch

Sources 

  • C Hanchey - cmh2315fl [at] yahoo [dot] com
  • Wikipedia
  • Melissa Brand-Welch - melissabrandwelch [at] msn [dot] com
  • Brian R. Warren

Comments 

Mahned Bridge
Posted April 6, 2021, by Misty W. (mistyluvu36 [at] yahoo [dot] com)

I was born and raised in south mississippi, which is where these crimes were committed..our house was only about ten miles from the Mahned bridge... I was only nine years old at the time, but I vividly remember nearly every detail.... Angela’s missing poster was everywhere, on every pole and in the window of every business.. I even remember the outfit she was wearing on the poster... they stayed up for years to come....

Since she was pregnant. The theory was that the baby’s father was involved , but I disagree..... because two years later a couple were murdered near the bridge.... the guy was killed quickly, but the girl was tortured in a horrific manner before being murdered.. the killers were David and Kenneth moody.... I think they had something to do with Angela’s disappearance.... I also think that her body is somewhere near or under that bridge... Angela’s mother deserves answers and justice for her daughter....

Mahned Bridge... passing over.
Posted September 28, 2019, by Petris Deklund (petrisdk [at] gmx [dot] com)

Time is a conceptual force.

Some things will never be answered

at least to those who question.

Mahned Bridge
Posted April 22, 2018, by Kenny Fairhurst (dwf0403 [at] gmail [dot] com)

I doubt this bridge is going to get any effort to be preserved, considering it's history.

Mahned Bridge
Posted April 20, 2018, by Kris Carmichael (ravkrisc [at] gmail [dot] com)

It was a cool night, according to the weather history, 65 degrees. And the car was found with the windows down but why on a cool night? Was a half-moon, waning, some light, but why was the car found with the windows rolled down? Her Purse and Keys were missing, What if, Angela was not there that night at all? What if she was murdered somewhere else, and her car was driven to the bridge in an effort to throw off police? I would guess whoever was driving it that night was a woman, which could have been wearing some of Angela's attire, shoes included. Blood could have been brought to the scene also and sprinkled around to make it look like a crime happened there. She was last seen at around 1am, so that would have been about 5 hours & 40 minutes that had transpired from when she was last seen to when her car was found at 6:40am. If so, then there has to be another party involved. Whenever Angela is located, I believe her purse will be with her, can't afford anyone to recognize it. Only her keys would be needed, and the driver as human nature would dictate probably put them in a pocket or purse. The crime probably happened not too long after Angela left the Pizza Hut parking lot, but the offending party did have time to come up with a plan. Question is, where is Angela's remains? I would guess at the very most, still in the local area. Time was ticking toward dawn, they had to get rid of the car, and couldn't leave it at the crime scene because that would betray the place of the crime, and those involved. Plus, they didn't have but maybe a few hours to hide the remains looking at a 6 hour time period, minus the time of the incident and the drive to the Bridge, and back. I think the chances would be greater of her being murdered during a heated domestic argument, in the heat of the moment, than on a rural road near a bridge where people just might be coming down the road and witness the event..

Mahned Bridge
Posted August 25, 2017, by Anonymous

Why no one has put the moody boys in this equation is beyond me. I went to school and was good friends with family of theirs. I was around them often. Kenneth loved the woods and on one occasion chased me, my brother and a cousin through the woods. They lived close to there and were very familiar and comfortable with those woods.

Mahned Bridge
Posted February 14, 2015, by James Baughn (webmaster [at] bridgehunter [dot] com)

I actually visited this bridge today. The north end is very overgrown, so I wasn't able to see much. The Camelback span appears to be in decent shape except for the missing deck.

Mahned Bridge
Posted February 14, 2015, by John Marvig (marvigj27 [at] gmail [dot] com)

I'm getting about 515' on Google Earth, so well shy of the 900 and something.

On Google Earth, it looks as if the Camelback is collapsing as well, just of note.

Mahned Bridge
Posted February 14, 2015, by Nathan Brandli

Can someone verify the length of this bridge? As of this posting, Wikipedia claims the length of the 2 truss spans to be a total of 335 feet. Looking at pictures, it doesn't appear to me that the remainder of the bridge would be 642.7 feet long.

Mahned Bridge
Posted August 9, 2014, by Kris Carmichael (ravkrisc [at] gmail [dot] com)

I have often pondered the Freeman case, and feel there was probably more than one person involved in her disappearance. From the general accounts I have been reading off the net, appears her car was found at 6:40 that morning, is that correct? And reason seems to suggest that whoever drove that car to Mahned Bridge that night, did not drive it out; so, expedience would demand another vehicle, which probably picked up the occupant of Angela's Honda and drove away. Question is, was Angela's car quickly abandoned, probably was. And that is why if she is deceased, the crime took place somewhere else and Mahned Bridge was nothing but a staged set to throw off authorities. If she was last seen at 1 am and her car was found at 5:40 am, that is about a 6 Hour window someone had to kill her and ditch the car. In that timeframe someone could have driven at 70 MPH a total of 420 miles from the point of where she was last seen to the Bridge area, where the car was found at 6:40 that morning. That would be a radius around Petal of roughly 210 miles. Of course that would also depend upon her tank being full, and the need for a fillup, probably got around 25 to 30 MPG. Once the deed being done, it would also have been expedient to hide/bury the body asap. It was night, and visibility was limited. But if the body was tendered at a local unknown location, it is probably still there. Given these many years of not having located a body, the culprits may well assume it's hidden in a safe place and not bother trying to move it.

Mahned Bridge
Posted July 27, 2013, by JOHN OVERSTREET (JHOVERSTREET1236 [at] GMAIL [dot] COM)

IF STEPHEN LINDSEY WAS EVEN OLDER THAN 17( OF WHICH ANGELA WAS),AND IF SHE WAS YOUNGER THAN HE WAS, AND PREGNANT BY HIM... I GOT NEWS.... THAT IS (STATUTORY RAPE OF A MINOR). A LAW THAT CAN STILL PUT STEPHEN FAR AWAY. WAKE UP PETAL MISSISSIPPI,,,DONT YOU SEE NOW??? I SEE FOUL PLAY AND HIS CRIME TO COVER UP ANOTHER CRIME OF A STATUTORY RAPE CHARGE AS THAT WAS WHY SHE VANISHED AT HIS HANDS. I SEE TWO TO THREE CRIMES IN ONE. THEY HAD AN ARGUMENT THAT EVENING AT PIZZAHUT AND A BREAKUP,,, AND SHE DISSAPPEARS,,, YES HE IS STILL GUILTY AND CAN STILL BE CHARGED AS AN ASSESSORY TO THOSE FACTS AND CAN STILL BE ARRESTED AND CHARGED AND SO CAN THE BLACK GUY.

Mahned Bridge
Posted July 27, 2013, by JOHN OVERSTREET (JHOVERSTREET1236 [at] GMAIL [dot] COM)

this is my email address:( JHOVERSTREET1236@GMAIL.COM )

Mahned Bridge
Posted July 25, 2013, by BUCKEY SNOTBALL (TAILPIPE6652 [at] PUNCHBOWL [dot] NET)

BBBBBBBLLLLAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

Mahned Bridge
Posted July 25, 2013, by JOHN OVERSTREET (JHOVERSTREET [at] GMAIL [dot] COM)

i would love to have a chance to fully investigate this cold case if the freeman family would give me permission. i can get a copy of the ORIGIONAL COLD CASE through THE STATE OPEN RECORDS ACT and THE FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT and i am a CERTIFIED PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR/DETECTIVE. i do not want money but a chance to solve this case. FOR FREE. I DO NOT WANT NOTHING BUT TO PUT TWO(2)SUSPECTS AWAY. i used to hang out at that bridge in the early 90s myself. it was a hangout for every TOM AND HARRY everywhere. mainly from Petal and Hattiesburg. ive hunted and fished and swam in the river.even camped out thier. i just hate that stuff happening and ruining lives and good places and friendships. THIS IS NOT A REGULAR DISAPPEARANCE. SHE WAS TARGETED. THIS IS A HATE CASE FOR A CERTAIN REASON. THIS WAS NOT RANDOM. THIS YOUNG LADY WAS TARGETED FOR THIS TO HAPPEN. SO WAKEUP EVERYONE. (WHY) JUST SAY...THINGS ARE OUT OF PLACE FOR THIS TO BE REGULAR. I,VE 20 YEARS OF UNDERSTANDING THIS PARTICULAR COLDCASE. i have reasons.I HAVE A GREATER UNDERSTANDING OF THIS CASE MORE THAN THE LAW DOES OR ANYONE ELSE. GOD BLESS

Mahned Bridge
Posted July 24, 2013, by JOHN OVERSTREET (JHOVERSTREET [at] GMAIL [dot] COM)

for all who want the honest truth in absolute detail,,contact me

Mahned Bridge
Posted July 24, 2013, by JOHN OVERSTREET (JHOVERSTREET [at] GMAIL [dot] COM)

her car was found much earlier than 6;40 AM. by a perry county depuety sherriff between 1;oo AM and 2;oo AM. why didnt he report that? does the freeman family know that?

Mahned Bridge
Posted July 24, 2013, by JOHN OVERSTREET (JHOVERSTREET [at] GMAIL [dot] COM)

if the freeman family would contact NASA they could obtain satellite photos from that dark morning and see WHO DONE IT. all NASA needs are the GPS COORDINATES and the moments of 1 oclock am till that depuety sherrif found that young ladie disappeared. the law didnt think of that. im a certified private investigator

Mahned Bridge
Posted July 24, 2013, by Dave King (DKinghawkfan [at] hotmail [dot] com)

For those who want to know the details:

http://www.charleyproject.org/cases/f/freeman_angela.html

Mahned Bridge
Posted July 24, 2013, by john overstreet (jhoverstreet1236 [at] gmail [dot] com)

angela freeman was horribly abducted from that place in 1993 on the morning of september 11th around 1;30 AM. depuety sherriff bill brown found the girls car at 2;00 AM. SO if she went missing from pizza hut at 1 oclock am and was last seen with stephen lindsey,her ex boyfriend. then what happened?

Mahned Bridge
Posted January 12, 2008, by kpittman (morrninstar [at] yahoo [dot] com)

WAS ANGELA FREEMAN ABDUCTED IN 1990 OR 1993? AND BOND AND HATCHER 1995 OR 1991? THERE ARE 2 DIFFERENT YEARS ON BRIDGE PHOTO AND FOLLOWUP. THANK YOU.

Mahned Bridge
Posted October 24, 2007, by Yancey Sanford (OkatomaMud [at] gmail [dot] com)

I took this photo of the Mahned Bridge in 2004. The boards at each end of the bridge were ripped out to prevent people from walking out onto it after the 1991 murders.

Mahned Bridge
Posted May 12, 2006, by kristyn sherman brown (kristyn [dot] brown [at] gmail [dot] com)

There was an error in the last post: Angela Freeman was abducted in 1993; Bond and Hatcher in May 1995.

Mahned Bridge
Posted May 12, 2006, by kristyn sherman brown (kristyn [dot] brown [at] gmail [dot] com)

This bridge was the site of two abductions. One in 1990, of Angela Lee Freeman; her body was never found. The second took place in 1991, when Robbie Lee Bond and William Hatcher were abducted by two cousins who then drove to their mobile home to commit the rapes and murders.