Local man loses daughter

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 3, 1999

in Ozark killing


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Published Aug. 3, 1999

Lanier Beasley and his daughter J. B. said goodbye to each other Thursday afternoon with the promise of being together the following weekend.

Three days later, J. B. Beasley’s body was discovered in the trunk of a car in Ozark along with that of a friend and classmate at Northview High School in Dothan, Tracy Hawlett.

"J. B. told me she would see me next Saturday. I kissed her and said goodbye. That was last time I saw her or talked to her," said Beasley who owns and operates Ed’s Barber and Style Shop in downtown Troy.

According to information released by Tony R. Spivey, chief of Ozark City Police, the bodies of the two Dothan teenagers were found around 2 p.m. Sunday in the trunk of a 1994 Mazda on Herring Ave. in Ozark.

The vehicle was reported missing along with the two occupants Saturday night.

After discovery of the vehicle by the Ozark City Police, officers began to process the vehicle and, at that point, both female victims were discovered in the trunk. Both had sustained gun shot wounds to the head.

Beasley learned his daughter was missing around noon on Sunday with the tragic news following a few hours later.

Beasley described his daughter "as nearly perfect as a daughter could be."

"J. B. and I shared a telepathy. We were good friends," Beasley said. "She trusted me explicitly. If I could have described the perfect daughter, J. B. would be her."

J. B. Hilton Green Beasley celebrated her 17th birthday on Saturday, the day of her disappearance.

"What I understand is she and Tracy had been to a party somewhere around Headland," Beasley said. "Around 11:30 Saturday night, Tracy called home and told her mother they would be a few minutes late because they had taken a wrong road and gotten lost. They were in Ozark at the time."

When the girls didn’t arrive home they were reported missing, Beasley said.

"I’m in a state of denial right now," he said. "We have this wonderful faculty that keeps us from being suicidal at times like this. We see in terms other than what is real. That’s where I am right now."

Beasley said the family hasn’t made any funeral arrangements at this time.

The bodies were scheduled to be released from the Department of Forensic Sciences in Montgomery late Monday afternoon.

"The arrangements can’t be made right now, because we just don’t know," Beasley said.

The circumstances surrounding his daughter’s death are also unknown.

"It didn’t appear to be a robbery because their purses were in the car," he said. "Their jewelry wasn’t taken. The car was unlocked. Only the keys were missing."

Beasley said he won’t let himself think of the last minutes of his daughter’s life.

"I’m told they were apparently made to climb in the trunk of the car where they were executed. I can’t think about it. I just have to remember the good times."

Beasley said when he saw his daughter on Thursday she was "extremely happy."

"She was a wonderful dancer," he said. "Incredibly talented. She had just performed in Mindscape at the Basketcase Cafe and was looking forward to perhaps a scholarship in dance when she graduated. She had a good future ahead of her. This is tough. Real tough."