Body found in river near Kings Point

Published 1:27 pm Tuesday, April 5, 2011

A body, described as “badly decomposed,” was pulled out of the Mississippi River near Kings Point Island Monday night and has been sent to the state crime lab for identification, Warren County Sheriff Martin Pace said today.

Deputy Coroner Kelda Bailess, who was on hand when the body was taken from the river, said from the clothing on the body, it appears to be a man.

“Identification will be left up to the crime lab,” Bailess said this morning. “The manner of death will be determined by an autopsy, hopefully today.”

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A commercial towboat operator was the first to spot the body, about four miles upstream from the Mississippi River bridges around 7 p.m., Pace said.

Workers at Ergon Marine were radioed and responded in a contact boat, Pace said, in turn notifying him at 7:20.

Pace said the body was partially under water, near the river bank on the Mississippi side.

Pace responded in the sheriff’s river patrol boat, along with Bailess, Detective Mike Traxler, Sgt. Ford Emery and Fish and Wildlife Officer Charlie Ross.

They removed the body and, on returning to City Front, sent it to the Mississippi Crime Lab by contracted transport service, Bailess said.

“Most likely” dental records will be required for identification, but if missing persons have been reported by upriver jurisdictions, that could aid the process, she said.

“There is no indication that this death occurred at that location,” Pace said.

“Our investigators will be working with the state crime lab to identify the victim,” he said. “We have notified the U.S. Coast Guard and they are checking reports of anyone that may be missing in the river above our jurisdiction.”

In addition, sheriff’s investigators are putting out bulletins to other agencies regarding missing or possible homicide victims in areas upstream from Vicksburg, he said.