The family of 25-year-old Rasheem Carter, who was found dead with his head severed in November last year, have said he was murdered and are calling for an investigation by the Department of Justice, per ABC7.
Carter was reported missing by his family in Laurel, Mississippi in October 2022 after he told his mother he believed he was being targeted by white men in his community. He was found dead in a wooded area near Taylorsville about a month later, and newly released autopsy results have prompted his family to request a federal probe into his death.
"One thing is for certain ... This was not a natural killing. This was not a natural death. This represents a young man who was killed," said the family's attorney, Ben Crump. During the press conference held on Monday, Crump cited the findings of the Mississippi State Medical Examiner's Office autopsy report, which showed no signs of animal activity on his remains. The condition of his body proved difficult to determine what time the injuries on his body took place, and as such the cause and manner of death have been listed as undetermined.
Crump said that Carter’s head was severed from his torso, and authorities recovered his spinal cord in a different area to that of his head. "They have recently found remains that they believe are also Rasheem Carter at another part of where he went missing, and what that tells us is, this was a nefarious act," said Crump. "This was an evil act. Somebody murdered Rasheem Carter. And we cannot let them get away with this."
The Mississippi Bureau of Investigation has confirmed it is assisting the ongoing investigation into Carter’s death, but has not commented further on the case. When his body was found last year, the Smith County Sheriff’s Office determined there was "no reason to believe foul play was involved."
In the days leading up to his disappearance, Carter texted his mother that he was concerned for his safety. He even named an individual, who he said was "responsible" if "anything happen[ed]" to him. "He got these guys wanting to kill me," the text message read. Prior to that he also visited the Taylorsville Police Department twice about his concerns. "My son told me that it was three truckloads of white guys trying to kill him,” his mother Tiffany Carter said. “And at the time that he told me, as a mother, you know, I had to think fast. So I told him to go to the police station because I felt in my heart they would serve and protect like they are obligated to do."