Authorities have yet to confirm if a missing man found hanging from a tree in Mississippi last week was killed or committed suicide, but the FBI is now consulting with the Behavioral Analysis Unit (or “profilers”) to break the case.
Otis Byrd, 54, was found with a sheet around his neck near his Port Gibson home last Thursday. Family and friends say the man had been missing for two weeks before authorities found his body in the woods. Preliminary autopsy results led investigators to believe Byrd committed suicide, however, the FBI does not expect an official report on Byrd for a number of days, supervisory special agent for the FBI’s Jackson, Mississippi, office Jason Pack told the Associated Press.
At least 30 state, local, and federal investigators are on the case, along with the BAU profilers enlisted to assist the FBI.
From the Clarion-Ledger:
According to FBI.gov, the Behavioral Analysis Unit “focuses specifically on criminal human behavior in an attempt to better understand criminals—who they are, how they think, why they do what they do—as a means to help solve crimes.” Officials said they hope the BAU will help narrow down whether Byrd’s death was a suicide or a homicide.