Mystery of a Swamp

Harrisburg Patriot – July 17, 1899

Empty Carriage. Cries of Murder and a Negro’s Arrest

Philadelphia, July 16 — Walter S. Jones, colored, is locked up in Camden Jail under a chain of weird circumstances. On Friday night a horse and empty wagon were found standing in a clump of bushes near Seventeenth and Mickle streets, a sparsely settled part of Camden’s annexed district. Almost simultaneous with its discovery wild cries of “Murder” and “Help” were heard from the vicinity of Cooper’s creek. The team was taken in charge and Police Captain Albert with Policemen Flick, Abbott and Horner, began an investigation.

A few minutes later Jones, the colored man, appeared, coming from the direction of the swamp near Stockton park. As soon as he saw Officer Flick the man showed fight, but Flick quickly brought him to bay with his revolver. He told a very unsatisfactory story of what is business was in that locality at that hour of the night.

The cries of ‘murder’ and the conflicting statements made by the colored man satisfied the police that there was something wrong. The spot was an ideal one for a crime, and the surrounding neighborhood afforded the best means of disposing of any evidence, the Stockton lake being near at hand and thereabouts being swampy and infested with a high growth of weeds. Jones was taken to the town hall while the officers waded knee deep in the swamp to see what they could discover. The search was continued until midnight an [sic] was renewed again this morning, but nothing startling came to light.

To add to the suspicion already fastened to the man, during the night, he had burned a letter in the cell he occupied. When searched and old-fashioned pistol was found secreted in a little pocket in one of his boots. All the chambers were filled.

Jones has just been released from a thirty days sentence for, it is said, beating his father. He claims the team belonged to him.

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