Mississippi Man Found Dead Month After He Calls Mother In Panic, Says Someone’s Trying To Kill Him
“Somebody murdered Rasheem Carter, and we cannot let them get away with this,” a family lawyer says of the case.
A man in Mississippi phoned his mother and told her he was scared for his life. He then vanished and his remains turned up in the woods one month later. Was his death natural, accidental, or the result of something far more sinister?
On Oct. 2, 2022, Rasheem Carter, a Black 25-year-old welder from Fayette, called his mother, Tiffany Carter, and told her he was being chased by white men in three trucks, according to NBC News.
Rasheem was in Taylorsville on a short-term job at the time. Tiffany said her son had no history of mental illness, and he didn’t seem to be under the influence of anything during the call. His concerned family reported him missing in Laurel the same day.
At a March 13 news conference covered by NBC News, Tiffany shared that before her son disappeared, he had written her a detailed text about what he claimed was happening at work, The Independent reported.
“Me and the owner of this company are not seeing eye to eye,” the message alleged, according to Carter’s family. “If anything happens to me [he] is responsible for it… he got these guys wanting to kill me.”
On Nov. 2, 2022, one month to the day after the disturbing call, Rasheem’s body was located in the woods near Taylorsville. In a statement posted on Facebook at the time, the Smith County Sheriff’s Office said law enforcement “have no reason to believe foul play was involved” in the man’s death but noted the investigation was ongoing.
Smith County Sheriff Joel Houston has since said the possibility Rasheem was murdered has not been ruled out.
Complicating the case, a spokesperson with the Mississippi State Medical Examiner’s Office noted in a statement to The Independent: “Based solely upon the condition of the remains, there was no means by which a cause of death could be reasonably determined.”
Rasheem’s family said they believe he was the victim of a hate crime and demanded a federal investigation be launched into what they say should be classified as a civil rights case.
“This was a nefarious act. This was an evil act,” the family’s attorney, Ben Crump, said at the recent news conference. “Somebody murdered Rasheem Carter, and we cannot let them get away with this.”
Citing photographs of Rasheem’s skeletal remains and independent autopsy results, Crump said it appeared the man’s head was severed and he noted multiple teeth were missing from the jaw. “This was not a natural death,” Crump said. “This represents a young man who was killed.”
The spinal cord was also located a distance from the skull. Officials have theorized this could be the result of animals scattering the remains.
“There is nothing natural about this,” Crump countered. “It screams out for justice. What we have is a Mississippi lynching.”
On March 15, Tiffany shared with Insider an image of her son captured by a trail camera that she said investigators gave her about a week before his remains were found in the woods. The image, shot on Oct. 2, the day Rasheem disappeared, shows him shirtless and carrying what appears to be a large tree branch.
“When I see that picture, I know my son was somewhere struggling, somewhere running for his life,” Tiffany said, explaining she believed her son was “chased” and that the photo “shows something is not right” and “something transpired.”
Sheriff Houston told Insider right now evidence “is not showing anybody with him” but investigators need pending search warrants from technology companies to rule out the possibility.
He added, “Everything is still on the table, and anything is possible until we have completed the case, turned over every rock, every leaf, and find every possible answer there is to find."
“They thought this was going to be a child no one cared anything about,” Tiffany said of her son, NBC News reported. “They’re clearly mistaken. Because he was somebody.”
Rasheem is survived by his 7-year-old daughter, Cali.