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Murder suspect arrested following manhunt in Harrison County

An hours-long manhunt for a murder suspect in Harrison County came to an end Wednesday night with the arrest of Bricen John Rivers of Saucier, who is charged with one count of murder.

According to Harrison County Sheriff Matt Haley, deputies responded to Wolf River Cemetery in rural Pass Christian for a welfare concern. When they arrived, officers encountered Rivers running from a vehicle into the woods in the area.

Harrison County deputies checked the vehicle that Rivers ran from and discovered a deceased female inside, wrapped in a sheet. Harrison County Coroner Brian Switzer has now confirmed the victim was 22-year-old Lauren Johansen of Gulfport. Authorities believe Johansen was reported missing by family from Hattiesburg, where she attended school, on Tuesday, July 2.

Harrison County deputies, along with the Biloxi Police Department, Gulfport Police Department, Mississippi Highway Patrol, Hancock County Sheriff’s Department, D’Iberville Police Department, Jackson County Sheriff’s Department, and the Mississippi Department of Wildlife & Fishers searched the area for Rivers for hours. He was located in the woods several hours later and placed under arrest.

Rivers was transported to the Harrison County Adult Detention Facility in Gulfport and charged with one count of murder. He’s being held in lieu of a $1 million bond set by Justice Court Judge Nick Patano.


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