FBI Investigating MS Hanging Death of Otis Byrd

The FBI is investigating the hanging death of Otis Byrd, an African American, in Mississippi. Claiborne County Sheriff Marvin Lucas said today it is not clear if Byrd's death was a homicide or suicide. He also cautioned against assuming it was a hate crime:

Lucas, who is himself African-American, said Friday that he's worried people will jump to the conclusions that Byrd was murdered and that race was a factor.

"I don't want the community to go excited saying it was a white-on-black thing. That's the worst thing that can happen, is people making it into a race issue," Lucas said. "And that's my biggest fear. And I don't want that to happen.

It sounds like a homicide from other remarks of Lucas: [More...]

From the Seattle PI (no link, due to autoplay video.)

A Mississippi sheriff said Friday that a black man found hanging from a tree did not appear to have stepped off of anything before he died.

Claiborne County Sheriff Marvin Lucas Sr. told The Associated Press on Friday that the body was found Thursday hanging by a bed sheet from a tree limb about 12 feet high, and that his feet were dangling about two feet off the ground. The hands on the body were not bound, he said.

I hope it turns out this was not a lynching. He was missing for two weeks, his body was found 50 to 200 yards (depending on source) from his house, and his family said neither he nor the family had any enemies. He spent his time working and liked to visit the casino. He was last seen at the casino on March 2.

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    Casino (none / 0) (#1)
    by Uncle Chip on Fri Mar 20, 2015 at 04:46:28 PM EST
    He liked to visit the casino. He was last seen at the casino on March 2.

    This may be a big piece of the puzzle.

    Suicide (none / 0) (#2)
    by Jack203 on Fri Mar 20, 2015 at 10:59:03 PM EST
    Troubled man that previously served 25 years for murder.  Family reported him being depressed, no motive, no suspects.  

    The FBI will be through with this one quickly.

    Byrd's body was found on Thursday, (none / 0) (#3)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Mon Mar 23, 2015 at 12:59:04 PM EST
    Byrd's body was found on Thursday, hanging from a tree, suspended by a bed sheet. Lucas said Byrd's hands weren't bound. There was a skullcap on his head. There was nothing to indicate whether it was a suicide or a homicide.

    I thought suicide... (none / 0) (#4)
    by unitron on Tue Mar 24, 2015 at 09:24:52 AM EST
    ...was a subset of homicide.

    The death is caused by a human.

    The death happens to a human.