UPDATE 7:26 P.M. EST
According to the LA Times, reporters spoke with Willy Shorter, who found out from authorities that the body identified was his son’s.
He told the outlet:
“They told me he was dangling in the tree, up in the tree hanging by his neck. This is a small town, everybody knows everybody.”
Shorter also revealed he did not go to the scene of the tragedy:
“I don’t want to see my son,” Shorter said. “I want to remember him the way I always saw him. I don’t want to remember him hanging from the tree.”
Shorter said Byrd was one of “about 19 children,” and he had last seen him a few days earlier.
UPDATE: 5:30 P.M. EST
The Claiborne County branch of the NAACP has announced that the man found hanging from a tree in Mississippi is 54-year-old Otis Byrd.
In a news release, the FBI say the body was found during a ground search by the Claiborne County Sheriff’s Department and the Mississippi Wildlife Fisheries and Parks. Otis James Byrd was last seen when a friend dropped him off at Vicksburg’s Riverwalk Casino earlier this month.
According to the news site, Byrd was last seen by family and friends on March 2.
The body of an African-American man who has been missing since early March was found hanging from a tree in the woods of Mississippi, a law enforcement official told CBS News.
It is unclear if the man, who has not been named, was killed by someone or committed suicide. The FBI is currently investigating if there are any civil rights violations in this case.
Port Gibson Sheriff Marvin Lucas told CBS affiliate WJTV the body was found on Old Rodney Road in Port Gibson.
An FBI Evidence Response Team is processing the scene and authorities have not released the name of the person found. The FBI inquiry is a parallel inquiry with state and local investigations.