A Mississippi preacher and a former drug addict confessed to the local police on Thursday to having killed a person in Alabama in 2019 before hiding the body, all in an attempt to regain “spiritual freedom” and help solve the cold case of that missing person.

James Eric Crisp, a 37-year-old pastor who works at a drug recovery program he was once a part of, gave himself up to the Monroe County sheriff’s office on Thursday and was charged with manslaughter after confessing to the murder of 48-year-old Roger Lord Taylor, according to the Daily Beast.

Taylor has been missing since 2019, when his abandoned car was first found on Blair Cemetery Road in Monroe County. He reportedly called his daughter before he went missing to complain about his car getting stuck at night, according to Law&Crime.

Since being declared missing, Taylor’s case has gone cold–until Crisp, who was addicted to drugs during the time when Taylor went missing, came forward and confessed to the crime.

“He made the decision to risk his physical freedom in order to re-gain his spiritual freedom and hopefully help bring closure to this case for the sake of himself and the Taylor family,” the sheriff’s office said in a statement.

Crisp has a history of drug addiction, reportedly selling marijuana at age 8 before getting hooked on methamphetamines at 12 years old and cocaine at 14. Since getting sober, he has been working at God’s House of Hope as a pastor helping other addicts like himself towards sobriety.

“We know that God is a just God, and He forgives, but we also have to take action for our responsibilities, so today we just ask that God has mercy, whatever that looks like, whatever the steps is that we need to take for Eric to walk through this,” Amy Coyle from God’s House of Hope said in a statement.

Crisp has been helping the police in their search of the body, and Monroe County Sheriff Kevin Crook said that the investigation into the case was ongoing. Despite that, Crook offered a few words of praise for Crisp’s actions.

“As a believer myself, I hate it for the guy,” he said. “In the physical realm, he has to deal with the choices that he made, but in the spiritual side of it, you’re excited for the freedom that he has found in doing this. And then you hope that there’s healing for the family through this process as well.”

A pastor from Mississippi has confessed on Thursday to murdering a man who has been missing since 2019, surrendering to the police as he attempts to help them locate the body of the victim. This is a representational image. Patrick Fore/Unsplash.

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