Otis Byrd, 54, was found hanging from a tree in Claiborne County, Mississippi, today.
His death is being investigated by the FBI the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation (MBI), whose presence was requested by Claiborne County Sheriff's Department for forensic assistance, MS News Now reported.
It’s unclear if Byrd’s death was a suicide or homicide. His body was found half a mile from his last known residence and Fox Mississippi reporter Melissa Faith Payne tweeted that the body was badly decomposed.
Byrd had been missing since March 2, when a friend dropped him off at Vicksburg's Riverwalk Casino and his family filed a missing person’s report on March 8. Though the FBI has not confirmed Byrd’s identity, the NAACP named him in a letter requesting that the Department of Justice join the investigation.
Byrd spent more than 25 years in prison for murdering Lucille Trimm and robbing her of $101. He was convicted of capital murder on Feb. 8, 1980 and released on parole on Nov. 2, 2006, The Clarion-Ledger reported.