‘A Mississippi lynching in 2022’: Family of Black man found dismembered seeks fed probe
Hangman's noose (Shutterstock)

The family of a Black man found dismembered in Mississippi last year is calling for a federal investigation after local authorities said they don’t suspect foul play.

The remains of 25-year-old Rasheem Carter were found Nov. 2 in a wooded area near Taylorsville, around 20 miles from where he was reported missing on Oct. 2 in Laurel, the Smith County Sheriff’s Office said on the agency’s Facebook page.

“At this time, we have no reason to believe foul play was involved, but the case is still under investigation,” the agency said.

“The remains were transported to (Mississippi) Crime Lab for DNA confirmation.”

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But Carter’s family isn’t buying local authorities' account, and they were joined by their attorney at a news conference Monday calling for a Department of Justice investigation.

"One thing is for certain, this was not a natural death,” attorney Ben Crump said.

“This represents a young man who was killed,” Crump added, holding photos of Rasheem Carter’s remains.

“His head was severed from his body. His vertebrae, his spinal cord, was in another spot they discovered away from his severed head."

Investigators told Tiffany Carter, Rasheem’s mother, that her son’s wounds were likely caused by an animal, a determination the family finds dubious.

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Tiffany Carter said her son told her in a phone call before he went missing that he was being chased by three trucks with white men.

She said her son had previously texted her after a dispute with an employer who she didn't identify that “if anything happened to me, he’s responsible for it…he’s got these guys wanting to kill me.”

“When you look at these pictures from the autopsy it tells you that there is nothing natural about this, it screams out for justice,” Crump said.

“What that tells us is that this is a nefarious act, this was an evil act. Somebody murdered Rasheem Carter and we cannot let them get away with this.”

Smith County Sheriff Joel Houston said he does not object to a federal probe in a Washington Post interview.

“There is nothing to be swept under the rug or hidden in that nature,” Houston said.

The case has served as a painful reminder of America’s history of violence against Black people in the decades after the Civil War, The Post reports, noting that more than 4,000 Black men, women and children were lynched between 1877 and 1950.

Mississippi experienced 581 lynchings over that period, the most of any state.