Unidentified remains buried at Cedar Hill

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 21, 2001

Warren County Coroner John Thomason, left, and Mike Terry of Fisher-Riles Funeral Home prepare to lower a casket containing the body of an unidentified man at Cedar Hill Cemetery Wednesday. City worker, Arthur Morrow waits to fill in the grave. (The Vicksburg Post/C. TODD SHERMAN)

[12/20/01] Attempts will continue to determine his identity, but one of the two men’s bodies found in recent weeks near the Mississippi River was buried Wednesday in the pauper’s plot of Cedar Hill Cemetery.

There was no ceremony.

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The body, which had been found Nov. 30 in brush near a pier of the U.S. 80 bridge, was retrieved from Mississippi Mortuary Services in Rankin County for burial.

Warren County Coroner John Thomason said dental and other tissue were retained to aid in identification.

Deputy Coroner Larry Chisley, who investigated the case, said the man was white and had been dead about 10 days when he was found. There were no signs of a violent death, but officially the cause is listed as undetermined.

Initially, based on identification found with the body, the deceased was thought to be a 50-year-old Michigan resident. That identification was later rescinded due to inconsistencies with a pathologist’s findings of the body’s skeletal characteristics.

The other body found recently in the same area also remained unidentified.

That body was found about a half-mile away on Nov. 7 behind the Dixiana Motel, 4041 Washington St. Again, an autopsy did not reveal a cause of death, but did result in a description of the person as being a 45- to 60-year-old man who weighed 160 to 170 pounds and had dark brown hair and severe arthritis.

That body, also stored at Mississippi Mortuary Services, will be offered to the anthropology department at the University of Southern Mississippi for academic study before being buried, probably also in the pauper’s plot at Cedar Hill, Thomason said.

The pauper’s plot where Wednesday’s burial took place has about 20 graves, said Cedar Hill Sexton Venable Moore. It opened around 1994. There is an older pauper’s plot on the east side of the cemetery that has 300 to 500 people buried in it, Moore said.