Remains found in Mississippi community remain unidentified

Published 8:52 pm Monday, January 29, 2024

Mississippi’s State Medical Examiner’s Office continues to investigate human remains found by a hunter near Caseyville in northwest Lincoln County on Nov. 25, 2023. Lincoln County Sheriff Steve Rushing said the sheriff’s office is waiting on the state lab.

The Daily Leader initially reported the remains were found near a road leading into a wooded area off of Wooly Trail. Initial information indicated that no one had been to the location since about May 2023.

Due to the condition of the remains, no further description as to sex, race, or how long they had been at the scene is available without further testing by the state crime lab. Unidentified remains are sent to Mississippi’s State Medical Examiner’s Office where they remain until an identification can be made.

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In December, the State Medical Examiner’s Office was able to identify two-year-old remains found by an Entergy worker near Pearl in May 2023. It took seven months for the remains to be positively identified. Rushing said he would provide an update when the Caseyville remains are identified.

According to the Department of Public Safety, anyone who discovers human remains should call law enforcement. The notified agency then contacts the county medical examiner who performs a scene investigation and then refers the case to the State Medical Examiner’s Office. All human remains discoveries fall under the State Medical Examiner’s jurisdiction.

The State Medical Examiner’s office uses a combination of methods to identify bodies. DNA analysis, fingerprinting, forensics odontology and forensics radiography. Identity is then confirmed by the office’s forensic pathologist or forensic odontologist according to the Department of Public Safety.