Friends say Carson Sistrunk was one of the nicest people you’d ever meet. The 24-year-old Mississippi man was a hard worker, humble, loved hunting and fishing, and had a laugh that could have an entire room in stitches. To loved ones, Carson was a “gentle giant” who’d give anyone the shirt off his back.
Carson vanished on Sept. 4 after meeting a 20-year-old woman from Nashville who’d recently arrived in Mississippi. Her name was Sierra Inscoe, and they’d been chatting through social media.
Inscoe was pulled over in Carson’s silver Ford pickup two days later near New Hebron. Lawrence County Sheriff Ryan Everett told The Daily Beast that his agency was called to assist and observed a “pretty good amount” of blood in the truck bed.
On Sept. 7, Carson’s body was discovered with a gunshot wound at an oil well site about an hour south of his home in Pearl.
Inscoe was arrested for Carson’s murder four days later. She’s being held without bond, and a preliminary hearing in her case is scheduled for Nov. 3. Her public defender, Benton Evans, told The Daily Beast, “This case remains in its very early stages. At this time, we have no comment.” The Mississippi Bureau of Investigation (MBI), the lead law enforcement agency on the case, said the probe into Carson’s death is ongoing but declined to comment.
“I’ll never understand how evil people and this world can be,” one relative of Carson’s wrote on Facebook. “Carson, you, didn’t deserve that. No one does.” At his homegoing service in Jackson, Carson’s best friend said Carson wasn’t the loudest in the bunch but “he had that way about him that drew people in. It was that sweet, tender spirit. He was the best of us.”
In a since-deleted Facebook post, Carson’s cousin claimed Inscoe and at least one other person forced Carson to withdraw funds from an ATM and sign over his truck title before killing him. (Authorities haven’t charged anyone else in connection to the crime. Local TV station WDAM reported that police “are planning to speak with other possible people of interest in the case to see if more arrests are possible.”)
Now former friends of Inscoe tell The Daily Beast that this isn’t the first time she’s been accused of swindling love interests and acquaintances—or even stealing a man’s truck. Three months before Inscoe allegedly encountered Carson, another Mississippi man filed a report with the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office and claimed she absconded with his vehicle.
And, in 2020, when Inscoe was living in northern Florida, acquaintances say she faked a cancer diagnosis and pretended to be a nurse at a Gainesville hospital.
Mississippi dad Aaron Smith told The Daily Beast that he met Inscoe on Facebook earlier this year and they quickly became friends. She claimed her landlord wasn’t giving her time to find a new place, and Smith offered her an extra room in his house for a few days in June. “She cooked and cleaned, was as nice as could be,” Smith recalled, adding that Inscoe claimed to be a licensed practical nurse and seeking a job in the area.
Inscoe told him she worked on a farm and from his perspective, she seemed to have her life together. “If she was an actor, she’d be one of the best,” Smith said.
One night, Smith says, Inscoe ran out of her room crying hysterically and said her mother had been in a car wreck. She told him she needed to get to her brother’s house, and that they’d then drive to the hospital together to see their mom. “I was like, ‘You know what? Take my truck,’” Smith said. Inscoe had already been using his 2002 Chevy Silverado to go shopping for food and other household items; he had no reason to distrust her.
My biggest question is: How did she expect to get away with it that long?
“I got three children I’m raising on my own,” Smith continued. “That was the only ride that I had. I told her, ‘If it’s going to be longer than a day or two, let me know so I can make arrangements to pick it up.’” But when Smith messaged Inscoe on Facebook a couple days later to check in, he discovered she had blocked him.
He and his sister, Kenzie, did some online sleuthing and contacted some of Inscoe’s relatives, who said they couldn’t reach her either. One family friend of Inscoe allegedly told them that Inscoe’s brother had filed a missing persons report. The Smiths grew concerned that Inscoe had an accident in the truck or was in danger. “I hope this girl really isn’t missing and we don’t find her in a ditch somewhere,” Kenzie said in a TikTok video documenting the car drama. “That’s terrible. I do have a heart.”
Kenzie began monitoring Inscoe’s private social media accounts and noticed she was accepting followers on TikTok and receiving money from people on Venmo, all while supposedly missing. “Sierra, if you see this, we want the truck,” Kenzie fumed in one post.
Sierra isn’t the person you think she is.
Smith and his father, the truck’s owner, filed a police report about the stolen vehicle. On June 30, Smith says, a sheriff’s deputy texted his dad and asked him to resend a photo of the vehicle. Moments later, the cop pulled the vehicle over.
In the driver’s seat was a man who’d apparently bought the pickup from Inscoe, who then presented him with a “bill of sale.” According to Smith, the man had even paid for improvements to the truck, including installing a new water pump. But Inscoe was still nowhere to be found.
Smith says he was shocked when he heard about Carson’s terrifying case. “This poor guy lost his life,” Smith said. “It really hit me. It could have been me. But I wasn’t thinking of myself. This poor guy just wanted to go out with a girl.”
Before she was accused of stealing cars in the Magnolia State, Inscoe was living in northern Florida and telling friends she was a trauma nurse at a Gainesville hospital.
“She really seemed completely normal,” said Shelby Taylor, who met Inscoe at a country and western bar called Eight Seconds sometime in 2019. Taylor was newly single and ventured out to the venue to line-dance and meet new people. She remembers Inscoe as magnetic, a friend who’d pull her onto the dance floor or into other fun situations.
“I really thought we could be close, we have a lot of things in common, we like to hang out at the same places,” Taylor told The Daily Beast. “She was always really funny. She called herself Cornbread.” (Indeed, Kenzie Smith’s TikToks detailed Inscoe’s various social media usernames with the words “cornbreadfed.” The bio section of one of Inscoe’s Facebook profiles says “CORNBREAD FED” and “I go FISHING on the first date.”)
But Taylor and Maya Collins, a licensed private investigator who comes from a family of P.I.s, became suspicious as Inscoe captivated their friend group and began dating their friend Gidden Hague. They noticed Inscoe claimed she was an ER nurse, yet was off work for long stretches spending time with Hague while he worked in Georgia. She also allegedly claimed to have a bachelor’s degree in nursing from a school without a nursing program. They say she boasted of previously working as a flight nurse, a high-pressure job that can require years of experience, and that she claimed to be 24. When they searched different states to see if Inscoe had a registered nurse license, they couldn’t find one.
They say that after a mutual friend confided in Inscoe about her own health issues, Inscoe told everyone she had ovarian cancer.
“Sierra said she had never met her dad before, which is a total lie,” Taylor recalled. “She was going to Tennessee to meet her long-lost father and fell and hurt her ankle and went to the ER. She had a pelvic exam done. She calls my friends Gidden and [the mutual friend] and says, ‘You guys, I have ovarian cancer.’ Of course all of us are distraught.”
According to Collins and Taylor, the mutual friend and her mother drove from Florida to Tennessee to pick Inscoe up and bring her home for the supposed cancer treatments. They said that for weeks, Inscoe lived with the friend, who waited on her hand and foot. “It wasn’t even a free place to live,” Taylor said. She “was making her food and helping her take a bath.”
Collins, who is currently in nursing school, was skeptical when Inscoe said part of her cancer had “broken off” her ovary and moved to the surrounding area. “I corrected her and said, ‘Do you mean metastasized?’ She was like, ‘Yeah, whatever that is,’” Collins said. “If you have a bachelor’s degree in nursing shouldn’t you know that word? But OK.”
The alleged deception came to an end in December 2020, the friends say, after Inscoe claimed to be in pain and an ambulance was called to the mutual friend’s house to take her to the hospital. When paramedics arrived, Taylor and the mutual friend went to collect Inscoe’s stuff, decided to rifle through her bags—and found the mutual friend’s old driver’s license. “When I brought out [the mutual friend’s] driver’s license, you should have seen the look on her face,” Taylor said.
Taylor said she also found discharge papers from the Tennessee hospital which allegedly revealed Inscoe had indeed had a pelvic exam but no cancer. The records confirmed another bombshell, too: She was only 19 years old. (Collins and Taylor say they suspected Inscoe had recently graduated high school based on her previous Facebook pages. It’s unclear why jail records list Inscoe as 20, while the discharge document the friends say they viewed would put Inscoe at age 21.)
For his part, Hague says that he was en route from Georgia when he learned that Inscoe was being rushed to the hospital. A friend called Hague and asked him to stop by the mutual friend’s house before meeting Inscoe. He says that when he arrived, his buddies told him, “Sierra isn’t the person you think she is.” He was in disbelief.
According to Hague, the alleged lies about her age, job, and cancer diagnosis led to another revelation. “Then it hit me that she took all the money,” Hague said, referring to the hundreds of dollars he’d given her to buy Christmas presents for his family. It was two days before the holiday, and Hague had no gifts, no cash, nothing to give his daughter.
Hague said that weeks before, he and Inscoe discussed a “big old brilliant plan” about what to buy his daughter and his nieces and nephews. Inscoe, who’d become a stepmom to his child, offered to take care of the holiday purchases.
“Whenever I got paid, I would take a certain amount of money and give it to her every week to go towards the gifts,” Hague told The Daily Beast. “About a week before Christmas, I told her, ‘It’s crunch time. What’s going on with the Christmas presents?’ She said, ‘Uh, let me check real quick.’ She called me back and goes, ‘You’re going to be pissed. All the presents are held up in shipping because of COVID.’”
“Here I am, Christmastime with no gifts, then found out she lied about everything after I had given her thousands of dollars,” he said.
Hague broke up with Inscoe after learning of her apparent charade. He says he packed her stuff, walked into the hospital lobby, and announced, “This is Sierra Inscoe’s bag. You might want to take it to her.” While she later tried contacting him through a friend, he never spoke to her again.
“My biggest question is: How did she expect to get away with it that long?” Collins asked. “She wasn’t paying for anything because Gidden was paying for everything. How long would that have lasted before Gidden started asking questions?”
This poor guy lost his life. It really hit me. It could have been me.
Ashley Raymond, who was a stepmother to a teenage Inscoe while dating her father, said those who helped to raise her are “in shock from this charge.”
“But I’m not shocked she’s gone down a bad path,” Raymond told The Daily Beast.
Raymond said Inscoe’s dad gave up custody of her and she was in foster care in Virginia for several years before moving in with relatives in Florida. She also reunited with her father and lived with him and Raymond in Keystone Heights. The family dynamic, Raymond said, was “really weird.”
The former stepmom described Inscoe as “very sweet” and seemingly “responsible” but said she had a troubled childhood and could be “manipulative,” claiming to go to church activities when she was actually partying somewhere. When Inscoe was very young, her mother walked out on Inscoe and her siblings, Raymond said—an accusation that Inscoe herself has posted about on Facebook. The mom “walked out to go to the store and never came back,” Raymond said. “They didn’t hear from her for nine years.”
“As much as I loved that girl like she was my own daughter, my heart goes out to Carson’s family and all the people she’s stolen from,” Raymond added. “I hate this for her, but she’s right where she belongs and she’s getting what she deserves.”
Inscoe’s father did not return messages for comment.
In the last two years, Inscoe billed herself online as a “ranch hand” and a “ranch foreman,” and posted images on Facebook of a farming operation with chickens. One picture showed a horse with the words, “New rescue.” This year, she advertised a profile on OnlyFans.
“Challenge after challenge yet I still am walking in the right direction towards success,” Inscoe wrote in one August 2021 post. “I’m headed to better things and definitely am staying patient but determined,” Inscoe wrote. “Life is getting better over this way.”
It’s unclear when or why Inscoe allegedly targeted Carson. Video from his funeral service last Saturday at First Pentacostal Church shows a reverend likening Carson’s fate to the Bible story of Samson and Delilah, saying that Samson “comes with pure motives, he comes with genuineness, but her motives are quite different.”
“So when she meets and greets Samson at the door, he is there in sincerity, she is there because of greed,” the preacher said, adding, “In other words, Samson walks into a trap.”
Angry observers and acquaintances of Carson wasted no time in inundating Inscoe’s Facebook pages with comments. “She was driving around in my cousin’s truck with his blood in it. Driving around with his blood in it. I want to repeat that,” one person wrote. “There is no forgiveness for you. Understand that. May God have mercy on your soul, you will need it.”