A third set of remains found in late February were reportedly confirmed as belonging to a Mississippi man who vanished last year after claiming he was being threatened.
The Mississippi Crime Lab reportedly notified Rasheem Carter’s family of the latest development via email. WLBT reported that an investigation into Carter’s death is ongoing, but it is unclear where the third set of remains were located.
The initial set of remains was discovered in a wooded area in Taylorsville in November, a month after Carter, 25, vanished from a Super 9 motel in Laurel.
According to reports, Carter was a welder and was completing a contracting gig in Taylorsville, 100 miles from home. Carter’s mother said the short-term job ended when he and the business owner got into an argument at the worksite which led Carter to fear for his life.
Before disappearing, Carter allegedly went to the Taylorsville Police Department twice about a group of white men following him in pickup trucks. Attorney Ben Crump wrote that Carter — who filed a police report — asked police for a ride to his hotel because he was scared, but they declined and told him they are not a “taxi service.”
At some point, Carter allegedly texted his mother about “not seeing eye to eye” with the business owner — who Carter also said “would be responsible” if something happened to him. The family also claimed that Carter had called the police around the time he called his mother about white men in three trucks following him.
Following the second visit to the police, Carter reportedly called his mother and told her that his phone battery was low. Carter was said to have pinned his location so a friend who lived nearby could pick him up but he was nowhere to be found when the friend went there hours later.
Trail camera photos apparently show Carter shirtless in the woods on the day he vanished. Detectives reportedly showed Carter’s family the image a week before his body was found last year. The images do not show anyone other than Carter, authorities said.
In addition to his head being severed from his body, Crump alleged that the State Crime Lab gave the family a box containing his head and spinal cord. Carter’s family also claimed that some of his front teeth were missing, suggesting an assault had occurred. While Crump said Carter’s remains were found in different locations, officials attributed it to animals.
However, Mother Jones reported that Carter’s family worked with a private investigator who determined that Carter’s severed, decomposing penis was in his mouth and that his bones were broken and cut cleanly in a manner inconsistent with an animal attack.
The investigator also alleged that police bungled the investigation and failed to take Carter’s disappearance seriously.
While Crump said Carter’s remains were found in different locations, officials attributed it to animals.
Previously, the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation said that it cannot determine Carter’s cause of death. The Smith County Sheriff’s Department sought help from the MBI, who reportedly conducted interviews, and surveyed the area where Carter’s remains were discovered.
Smith County police reached out to MBI in November. However, a day after Carter’s remains were discovered, the police department publicly announced that it has no reason to believe foul play is involved in Carter’s death. Crump claimed police have since retracted their statement.
No arrests have been made.
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[Featured image: Rasheem Carter/Handout]