Murder suspect on the run
UPDATE – According to Bobby Smith with the Texas Rangers, Joshua Latham was apprehended in Beauregard Parish in Lousiana by Texas Rangers, with the help of local law enforcement.
Latham was found in a wooded area behind a residence and taken into custody.
He will be extradited back to Newton County and will be held without bond.
Previous story – When it was time for the murder trial against Joshua Latham, 27, of Mauriceville, to begin Monday in a Newton County court room, he was nowhere to be found.
Warrants have been issued for his arrest.
“We are actively looking for him,” said Texas Ranger Bobby Smith. “I don’t have any doubt we will find him.”
Latham is accused of the 2013 murder of 41-year-old Tami Higginbotham, of Vinton, Louisiana. He faces up to 99 years in prison for the first degree felony.
Latham is currently on felony probation which was extended four years after he violated the terms.
After serving time in the Orange County Jail he was transferred to Newton County where he later posted bond and was released from custody.
The case stems from an incident when Higgenbotham, left her residence on Feb. 8 from Vinton to go to Orange. Her truck was found later at Blue Bird’s Fish Camp on Simmons Drive, but she was no where to be found. During the trip to Orange she had texted her sister, Staci Robinson, saying she was going to sell her phone to Latham. Higgenbotham wanted to upgrade so she had decided to sell her phone. Around 1 p.m. Higgenbotham sent a text to her sister saying Latham wanted her to help him pick out wedding rings. By 1:30 the texts from Higgenbotham stopped.
Knowing it was odd for her sister since she was “always connected,” Robinson became worried and tried repeatedly to call her but each call went straight to voice mail.
Robinson later went to the fish camp and showed a picture of her sister to people in the area. They told her they had seen Higgenbotham and she had gotten into a vehicle with Latham. However, when Robinson asked Latham if he had seen her sister, he denied ever meeting up with her. Latham’s girlfriend told Robinson, Latham was at work on the day of the disappearance. However, Robinson would later learn he didn’t have a job.
Latham, who was a ‘person of interest” in connection with the disappearance of Higginbotham, fled the area.
He was arrested a few days later, Feb. 14, in Maryville, Tennesse. Orange police contacted local officials in Maryville, and told them Latham had relatives in the area.
Maryville police checked the relative’s residence, and found Latham, along with his girlfriend, and their two-week-old infant. The woman and child were reported to be safe. He was held on charges he violated his felony probation.
Detectives and the Texas Ranger went to Tennessee to interview Latham concerning the disappearance of Higgenbotham. During the interview he reportedly told them where Higgenbotham’s body could be found.
Investigators went in search of the location north of Mauriceville on Feb. 15 where they found Higginbotham’s body in a heavily wooded, hunting lease in Newton County. Police said there were certain features on the body that matched descriptions of the missing woman. Further testing and autopsy results would reveal it was indeed her. Additional testing indicated Higgenbotham was strangled to death.
“The innocent doesn’t run,” Robinson said.
The family of Tami Higgenbotham hope to soon see justice served and Latham behind bars where they feel he belongs.