FBI awaits autopsy in hanging of black man in Mississippi - KSWO 7News | Breaking News, Weather and Sports

FBI awaits autopsy in hanging of black man in Mississippi

By JOHNNY CLARK and JEFF AMY
Associated Press

PORT GIBSON, Miss. (AP) - A Mississippi sheriff said Friday that a black man found hanging from a tree did not appear to have stepped off of anything before he died.

Claiborne County Sheriff Marvin Lucas Sr. told The Associated Press on Friday that the body was found Thursday hanging by a bed sheet from a tree limb about 12 feet high, and that his feet were dangling about two feet off the ground. The hands on the body were not bound, he said.

The results of an autopsy by the Mississippi Crime Lab to determine whether the death was homicide or suicide could take days, Lucas said.

The hanging is being investigated by the FBI, the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division and the United States Attorney's office as well as the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation.

The man's identity has not been confirmed, but Lucas believes the dead man is Otis Byrd, a 54-year-old ex-convict who lived just about 200 yards from the tree and had been declared missing by his family about two weeks ago.

Lucas knew Byrd, who had to check in with the sheriff's department as a condition of his parole in 2006 after serving 26 years in prison for the murder of a woman during a robbery in 1980.

Vicksburg Police Chief Walter Armstrong said Friday that after local authorities asked his department to check on a report that Byrd had been at a casino, video surveillance was recovered showing Byrd at the Riverwalk Casino on March 2.

"We didn't see anything of significance on the tape. He was just walking around the casino. We did not see him after that," Armstrong said.

The body was found by state wildlife officers and had "obvious signs" of decomposition, suggesting that it had been hanging in the woods for some time, said Jim Walker, a , a spokesman for the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Local NewsNewsMore>>

  • Deadly fire shuts down key route to Yosemite National Park

    Deadly fire shuts down key route to Yosemite National Park

    Sunday, July 15 2018 2:04 PM EDT2018-07-15 18:04:23 GMT
    Sunday, July 15 2018 3:24 PM EDT2018-07-15 19:24:43 GMT
    (Andrew Kuhn /The Merced Sun-Star via AP). Crews battle the Ferguson Fire along steep terrain behind the Redbud Lodge along Highway 140 near El Portal in Mariposa County, Calif., on Saturday, July 14, 2018.(Andrew Kuhn /The Merced Sun-Star via AP). Crews battle the Ferguson Fire along steep terrain behind the Redbud Lodge along Highway 140 near El Portal in Mariposa County, Calif., on Saturday, July 14, 2018.

    A wildfire that killed a California firefighter has grown quickly and forced the closure of a key route into Yosemite National Park.

    A wildfire that killed a California firefighter has grown quickly and forced the closure of a key route into Yosemite National Park.

  • France wins 2nd World Cup title, beats Croatia 4-2

    France wins 2nd World Cup title, beats Croatia 4-2

    Sunday, July 15 2018 1:03 PM EDT2018-07-15 17:03:26 GMT
    Sunday, July 15 2018 3:24 PM EDT2018-07-15 19:24:31 GMT
    (AP Photo/Martin Meissner). France's Kylian Mbappe, front, celebrates after scoring his side's fourth goal during the final match between France and Croatia at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, Russia, Sunday, July 15, 2018.(AP Photo/Martin Meissner). France's Kylian Mbappe, front, celebrates after scoring his side's fourth goal during the final match between France and Croatia at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, Russia, Sunday, July 15, 2018.
    France won its second World Cup title by beating Croatia 4-2 in a match briefly interrupted by an on-field protest that Russian punk band Pussy Riot later took credit for.
    France won its second World Cup title by beating Croatia 4-2 in a match briefly interrupted by an on-field protest that Russian punk band Pussy Riot later took credit for.
  • New Mexico passenger bus crash kills 3, sends 22 to hospital

    New Mexico passenger bus crash kills 3, sends 22 to hospital

    Sunday, July 15 2018 12:40 PM EDT2018-07-15 16:40:07 GMT
    Sunday, July 15 2018 3:24 PM EDT2018-07-15 19:24:09 GMT
    Authorities say a crash involving a passenger bus and three other vehicles on a highway in New Mexico has killed three people and sent 22 others to the hospital. (Source: CNN)Authorities say a crash involving a passenger bus and three other vehicles on a highway in New Mexico has killed three people and sent 22 others to the hospital. (Source: CNN)

    Authorities say a crash involving a passenger bus and three other vehicles on a highway in New Mexico has killed three people and sent 22 others to the hospital.

    Authorities say a crash involving a passenger bus and three other vehicles on a highway in New Mexico has killed three people and sent 22 others to the hospital.

Powered by Frankly