Rasheem Carter update: 4th set of remains may belong to Black man found with head severed

Family presses for justice as Mississippi man's cause of death remains undetermined

ByTesfaye Negussie ABCNews logo
Saturday, May 13, 2023
4th set of remains may belong to Rasheem Carter
There is an update in the Rasheem Carter case. A fourth set of human remains found could belong to him.

TAYLORSVILLE, Miss. -- A potential fourth set of remains that may belong to Rasheem Carter, a 25-year-old Black man who went missing in Mississippi in October, has been found and investigators say they're working to analyze them, ABC News reported.

The development comes as Carter's family continues its call for justice in the case, which has dragged on for months. Though local officials have said that they believe there was no foul play in the disappearance and the cause of death remains undetermined, family members believe that doesn't hold water.

"I am overwhelmed with the oppression that this state have caused in our lives. I want something done, and I want it done immediately. I'm tired of waiting," Tiffany Carter, Rasheem's mother, said at a press conference with the family's attorney Ben Crump. "I know I can't change what has happened, but we can make the change that this doesn't happen to another family."

SEE ALSO | New remains ID'd as Black man found with head severed after claiming white men targeted him: lawyer

On the day of his disappearance, Rasheem Carter allegedly sent a text to his mother saying that he was afraid for his safety and that men in trucks yelling racial epithets were after him, his family has said.

Simpsons County Sheriff Paul Mullins confirmed that remains were found in the woods on April 30. He said they appeared to be animal bones, but they were sent to the county coroner for examination. He added that the Mississippi medical examiner would analyze the remains on Monday.

On Nov. 2, 2022, the first set of remains were found in neighboring Smith County. Carter's skull and spinal cord were located in separate locations classifying them as two sets of remains, according to Crump's office.

Another set of remains that matched Carter's DNA were found on Feb. 23, also in Smith County, according to Crump's office.

Crump said Mississippi officials haven't notified the family of the fourth set of remains. He said a bystander filmed police retrieving the remains and sent the video to the Carter family.

"There is no excuse for bystanders coming showing video to the family, and officials not having the dignity and respect to notify the family immediately, and say 'we found more human remains in the vicinity where your son head and spinal cord and other bodily remains were found,'" Crump said.

Mississippi state officials involved in the investigation told ABC News in a statement that they received the first three sets of remains from local authorities. They wouldn't confirm if they received a fourth set of remains.

The state medical examiner's office did not immediately respond to ABC News' request for comment.

READ MORE | $50,000 reward offered for details in Rasheem Carter investigation

In light of the recent discovery, attorneys representing Carter's family are calling for a federal probe into his death, arguing that the Smith County Sheriff's Department's original conclusion that there was no foul play seemed dubious.

Smith County Sheriff Joel Houston told ABC News that the sheriff's department stands behind its earlier determination that no foul play was involved in Carter's death. Earlier evidence "didn't suggest anything," he said.

According to an autopsy report on the first two sets of remains, a copy of which was obtained by ABC News, most of what was found was bone and the cause of death was undetermined.

"Nothing is being swept under the rug," Houston said. "There's nothing to hide." Houston added that the department is awaiting results of search warrants before ruling out foul play.

"Mississippi, all America's watching to see if you're going to do right by Rasheem Carter," Crump said. "His brokenhearted mother has nightmares at night about what her son must have been doing as a result of this lynching in 2022."