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Family of Man Found Hanging in Greenwood Suspect Foul Play

By Daniel Cherry | Published 31 Mar 2011 06:01pm | comments

The family of a man found hanging from a tree near Greenwood is calling for a federal investigation into their son's death. MPB's Daniel Cherry reports the family believes they now have evidence indicating his death was a murder.

"Our family has endured four months of pain over the loss of my dear Jermaine", says Brenda Carter, mother of Frederick Jermaine Carter.
The Leflore County Sheriff's department says Carter's death was a suicide, but his family thinks otherwise.

"His absence leaves a hole in our heart, but not knowing what happened is a torment", Carter says.

The Leflore County sheriff's department is the lead investigator and the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation is assisting. They have not released an official determination of the cause of death pending conclusion of the case. The autopsy report from the state medical examiner's office has Carter's family calling on the FBI. President of the Mississippi NAACP Derrick Johnson says the local authorities aren't investigating properly.

"The cause of death based on the state medical examiner says hanging. Method of death was pending investigation. That's directly contradictory to the sheriff's statement that it was a suicide."

Authorities say Carter had a history of mental problems, and the Leflore County Sheriff says the FBI assisted in his investigation and found no evidence of murder. Department of Public Safety spokesman Jon Kalahar says investigations into deaths can't be done quickly.

"Everybody watches CSI nowdays and they want it solved the day after, and it's just not like that in the real world. Especially when you have to go through autopsies or you have to have evidence processed at the crime lab it just takes time."

Those calling for an outside investigation say the recent autopsy report shows bruises and other indicators that Carter's death was not a suicide. They also note Carter was found hanging in a predominantly white area of Greenwood. Daniel Cherry...MPB News. 

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