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The family of a man whose body was found in Mississippi calls for a DOJ probe

JACKSON, Miss. — The family of a Mississippi man whose dismembered body was found in November said his newly released autopsy report shows he was murdered, and they called for a federal investigation into the case Monday.

Rasheem Carter, 25, was last seen on Oct. 2 at a hotel in Laurel. On Nov. 2, his decomposing body was found in a wooded area about 21 miles (33.80 kilometers) away in Taylorsville. At a news conference Monday alongside Carter's family, Ben Crump, a prominent civil rights attorney, said the Justice Department should take up the case after local police said they had no reason to believe the man's death was the result of foul play.

"One thing is for certain," Crump said. "This was not a natural death. This represents a young man who was killed."

In a statement on social media, the Smith County Sheriff's Department did not elaborate on why they believed there was no foul play or what led them to the wooded area where Carter's remains were found.

Crump said Carter's autopsy revealed his head was severed from his body, and some of his body parts were found in different locations.

"What that tells us is this was a nefarious act, an evil act," Crump said. "Someone murdered Rasheem Carter, and we cannot let them get away with this."

His family said the day before his disappearance, Carter, who is Black, went to the Taylorsville Police Department and reported that he feared for his safety because men were after him, WAPT-TV reported. They say they believe his killing might have been racially motivated.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

The Associated Press