Vicksburg Police Department: Body found near Ameristar Hotel identified, cause of death unknown

Published 2:34 pm Thursday, December 29, 2022

The Vicksburg Police Department released Thursday the identity of the man whose body was found in a wooded area near the Ameristar Hotel.

According to VPD spokesperson Deputy Chief Mike Bryant, the body is thought to be that of Michael Shane Harris, 47 of Vicksburg.

“He was identified through documents found on his person,” Bryant said. “The body was taken to the Mississippi State Crime Lab for positive identification.”

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Positive identification is needed to officially confirm the person who is deceased, while an autopsy has been ordered to determine the cause of death. The VPD stated as of Thursday afternoon that the cause of death for Harris is undetermined, adding that it has not ruled out foul play or a bad fall.

The body was found on Tuesday in the 4000 block of Washington Street.

Police Chief Penny Jones said officers were checking on the welfare of a man presumed to be Harris, adding members of his family went to the police department Tuesday morning and told officers they had not heard from him since the early part of December.

The family said they received information that the man may be at a homeless encampment in the area around the Ameristar Hotel, located at 4116 Washington St., and officers searched the area near the hotel.

Officers, assisted by the Warren County Sheriff’s Office, located the remains of a male subject believed to be Harris in a ravine near the Ameristar Hotel parking lot at approximately 1:20 p.m. Tuesday.