FBI investigating body of black man found hanging in Miss., official says

Mar 19, 2015 5:35 PM by CBS News

CLAIBORNE COUNTY, Miss. - The Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division and the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Mississippi have joined the investigation into the death of an African-American man found hanging from a tree in Claiborne County, Miss.

The FBI is conducting a preliminary inquiry as well.

The Mississippi Bureau of Investigation says the body was discovered Thursday as the Claiborne County Sheriff's Department and the Mississippi Wildlife Fisheries and Parks conducted a ground search for a man who had been missing since early March.

During the search, officers located a man hanging in the woods near Roddy Road in Port Gibson, about a half mile from the missing man's last known residence.

An FBI Evidence Response Team is processing the scene and authorities have not released the name of the person found.

A law enforcement official tells CBS News no positive identification has been made partially due to the deterioration of the body of the victim and the fact that no ID was found. The official says the body has been taken to the state crime lab for identification.

The official said the person's hands were not tied behind his back and he was fully clothed.

According to the official, law enforcement are still working to determine whether it was a suicide or murder.

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