The FBI's special Behavioral Analysis Unit in Quantico, Virginia, has been brought in to investigate last week's hanging death of Otis Byrd, a black man who resided in Mississippi.
Byrd, 54, was found Thursday hanged by a bed sheet in a wooded area near his home in Port Gibson, a small town near the Mississippi River. According to The Associated Press
, forensic teams are currently trying to determine if the death was a suicide or murder, and the behavioral analysis unit's own investigation could assist in determining what happened.
Off the record, law enforcement officials have told reporters from USA Today
that early autopsy results and other evidence suggest it was likely a suicide, however their investigations have not been completed.
"No reports have shown anything whether homicide or suicide," said Claiborne County Sheriff Marvin Lucas. "We don't have that report yet. Once we get that report back, the FBI and (Mississippi Bureau of Investigation) and myself will do a news conference."
Jason Pack, supervisory special agent for the FBI's office in Jackson, Mississippi, said that agents have conducted interviews with family, friends, and acquaintances of Byrd's "in order to get the most granular of detail" of his life leading up to the day he died.
Byrd served jail time from 1980 to 2006 after being convicted of killing a store clerk, Lucille Trim, during a robbery.
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