Details are still scant about the circumstances of Walter Stewart Jr.’s death.
A fisherman found Stewart’s body in Sidon Cutoff, a Yazoo River brake 3 miles southwest of Sidon, Tuesday.
Leflore County Sheriff Ricky Banks said Friday there have been no new developments in the ongoing joint murder investigation that’s being conducted with the Greenwood Police Department.
Stewart’s body had been shot multiple times before being dumped into the cutoff.
Stewart, 54, had last been living in a motel, Banks said, declining to comment where since there’s a possibility Stewart may have been taken from the motel and transported to the lake.
Teresa Beckem, a close friend of Stewart, said he had nine kids from various relationships. He also had four stepchildren.
Beckem herself had two children with Stewart, including one who passed away.
“He was like a father figure to a lot of people,” Beckem said.
Beckem said Stewart assisted her and her children after her husband died. She asked Stewart if he could live with her for a bit to help her raise the children.
He acted as a father to them all, even those who were not his own.
“He took care of his kids. He loved his kids,” she said. “He was always willing to be your friend.”
Despite his large family, Beckem said Stewart kept in touch will all of his kids.
Some friends reported that Stewart wasn’t married, but Beckem said Stewart had been married to a woman since 2015.
Stewart is also survived by his 13 siblings.
One of his sisters, Claireane Stewart-Webb, attested to her brother’s good nature.
“He had a lot of charisma, he was beyond friendly. Friendly doesn’t describe it for him. He would make the perfect stranger feel like they had known him all their life,” Stewart-Webb said.
Born in Belzoni, Stewart and his family later moved to Greenwood, where he graduated from Greenwood High School.
Jerry Gaston knew Stewart from his kickboxing days, as Gaston would travel along with Stewart throughout the country for kickboxing matches. They went to New York and Chicago, and even out of the country to Montreal, Canada.
When Gaston heard that a kickboxer was found shot and killed, he said that he only knew one kickboxer — Stewart.
“I’ve been shook up ever since I heard from what happened to him,” Gaston said.
He added that Stewart “didn’t bother nobody but he wouldn’t let you walk over on him either.”
Stewart’s death marks the third homicide in Leflore County. The prior two homicides occurred in Greenwood.
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