1:25 PM / Monday August 8, 2022

27 Mar 2015

FBI continues investigation into Mississippi hanging death

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
March 27, 2015 Category: Week In Review Posted by:

ABOVE PHOTO:  This photo provided by Mississippi Department of Corrections shows Otis Byrd. The Claiborne county  coroner confirmed that the man found hanging from a white sheet Thursday March 19 , 2015 was Otis Byrd, an ex-convict reported missing by his family more than two weeks ago. (AP Photo/Mississippi Department of Corrections)

By Emily Wagster Pettus


Associated Press

PORT GIBSON, Miss. — The FBI is consulting with its behavioral analysis unit as it continues investigating the hanging death of a black man in Mississippi.

Jason Pack, supervisory special agent for the FBI’s Jackson, Mississippi, office, said Monday that it could be days before investigators receive an autopsy report for 54-year-old Otis Byrd. The report is expected to show whether Byrd was killed or committed suicide.

Officials have said 30 state, local and federal investigators are on the case.

Meanwhile, about a dozen people gathered Monday in downtown Port Gibson to show support for Byrd’s family, though his relatives did not attend. They called on authorities to thoroughly investigate the death.

Byrd’s body was found Thursday, hanging from by a sheet from a tree in a rural area outside Port Gibson, a small town near the Mississippi River. Claiborne County Sheriff Marvin Lucas Sr. said Friday that Byrd’s hands were not bound and it appeared Byrd had not stepped off anything.

Elmo Cooper and Darrell Noble, who graduated from Port Gibson High School in 1978 with Byrd, said they believe he would not have taken his own life.

Byrd served about 26 years in prison after being convicted of killing a store owner in Claiborne County in 1980. Noble said Byrd reconnected with friends and adjusted well after leaving prison. He said Byrd attended class reunions in 2008 and 2013.

Cooper says when he and Byrd were in high school, they would talk about what they’d do if something terrible ever happened in their lives.

“He was very adamant, very adamant that he would never take his own life,” Cooper said.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter

Leave a Comment

Recent News


Pennsylvania universities reject GOP call to freeze tuition

August 5, 2022

Tweet Share Pin Email By Brooke Schultz ASSOCIATED PRESS  HARRISBURG, Pa. — Four Pennsylvania universities said last...


Atlanta’s image challenged by facts of 1906 race massacre

August 5, 2022

Tweet Share Pin Email By Michael Warren associated press ATLANTA— Everyone who moves through downtown Atlanta today...


Back-to-school quiz for parents: Put your vaccination knowledge to the test

August 5, 2022

Tweet Share Pin Email BPT It’s that time of year: Kids are squeezing in the last seconds...


Justices uphold Pennsylvania’s 2019 mail-in voting expansion

August 5, 2022

Tweet Share Pin Email ABOVE PHOTO: Workers count Philadelphia’s mail ballots for the May 18 primary election...

Color Of Money

How much does a funeral cost?

August 5, 2022

Tweet Share Pin Email BPT When a death occurs, it’s normal to wonder – and even worry...

Food And Beverage

What’s Cookin’? Jackfruit Stew

August 5, 2022

Tweet Share Pin Email Tweet Share Pin Email Related Posts What’s Cookin’?: 7 Bean Stew What’s Cookin’?...

The Philadelphia Sunday Sun Staff