FBI Investigating Hanging Death of Black Man in Mississippi

FBI Investigating Hanging Death of Black Man in Mississippi

The man had not been seen since March 2.

Published March 19, 2015

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation are looking into a hanging death in Claiborne Country, Mississippi.

While the police have yet to release the name of the victim, the NAACP claims that the body belongs to Otis Byrd, 54, an African-American man who went missing around the same time.

March 2 was the last time Byrd was seen alive.

According to his friends, they dropped Byrd off at the Vicksburg’s Riverwalk Casino, the Daily Beast reported. His family filed a missing person’s report on March 8 with the Claiborne Country Police Department and the MBI recieved a later report from the police department on March 13.

During a routine grounds sweep, the police and park facility workers found a body, which happened to be a half-mile from Byrd’s last known residence.

The FBI hasn’t determined if the death was a homicide or a suicide and has not shared many details with the public, the Clarion Leger reported. However, the Claiborne Country coroner told the NY Daily News that they are waiting for results of the FBI and MBI’s investigation before they could release the name of the victim.

And while numerous media outlets are reporting that Byrd served 25 years in prison after being convicted in 1980 for the murder of Lucille Trimm, it’s not known how or if at all, his past is relevant to his death.

In the meantime, the NAACP sent an email to the U.S. Department of Justice requesting that they "join the current investigation of the suspicious hanging death of Mr. Otis Byrd,” MSNewsNow.com reported.

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(Photo: MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

Written by Kellee Terrell

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