Rasheem Carter: Prosecutor Says Fourth Set of Remains Not of Man Found Decapitated With Genitals in Mouth

A Mississippi prosecutor has accused an attorney representing the family of a man who was found dead last year of making unfounded claims about the case and ensuing investigation.

WCVB reported that the Mississippi Crime Lab announced last week that a fourth set of remains were animal bones. Smith County district attorney Chris Hennis said that the animal bones were located 25 miles from where three sets of Rasheem Carter’s remains were found months earlier.

The Mississippi Crime Lab made its announcement on May 12, a day after Carter family lawyer Ben Crump held a press conference about the possible fourth set of human remains. During that conference, Crump alleged that bystanders filmed video of the remains and contacted Carter’s family. He also claimed that officials never contacted them regarding that discovery.

Hennis denied those allegations, and said that Carter’s family was contacted on May 4 about those remains likely being animal bones.

“There was never any reason or evidence to suggest that the bones found in Simpson County, Mississippi, were related to Rasheem Carter’s case,” he said in the letter to WCVB. “Mr. Crump’s statement questioning my office and law enforcement’s dignity and respect towards Rasheem Carter’s family by not notifying them of new remains was not only completely baseless, but it also appears to be callously made to inflame public opinion.”

The third set of remains belonging to Carter was recovered on February 23. In late April, the Mississippi Crime Lab reportedly notified Carter’s family that the third set of remains was that of Carter, 25. It is unclear where those remains were located.

The initial set of remains was discovered in a wooded area in Taylorsville in November, a month after Carter 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. The family’s 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 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, family attorney Ben 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.

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. Hennis told WCVB that investigators have spent hundreds of hours investigating Carter’s case.

He wrote, “Unlike Attorney Ben Crump, my office, as well as law enforcement, has a responsibility to the Carter family, and to the public, to base the investigation on facts and evidence developed during the investigation, not on reckless speculation and conjecture.”

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[Featured image: Rasheem Carter/Handout]