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‘They’re Clumsy and Don’t Know What They’re Doing’: Mississippi Man’s Death Raises Foul Play Questions from Family as They Await Answers from Authorities

“He told me the night before he was in danger,” said Tiffany Carter of Fayette, Mississippi whose son was found dead in a field in Taylorsville, MS a month after he disappeared.

Tiffany Carter is living a mother’s worst nightmare, learning her child was in danger only to be found dead weeks later.

“He told me it was three trucks of white men trying to harm him,” Carter went on to say possibly adding suspicion of foul play behind her son’s disappearance and subsequent death.

The family of Rasheem Carter, 25, is now desperately seeking answers to what or who caused his death. Rasheem Ryelle Carter of Fayette, Mississippi was working in Taylorsville, Mississippi, about an hour north of Hattisburg, MS doing contract work at Georgia Pacific Wood Products for an expected 10-days.

While in the small town of Taylorsville, which has a population of 2300 people, 37% of which are Black, 60% are white, Rasheem Carter reportedly told his mom, white men had been following him around town. Tiffany Carter says she told her son to report his concerns to Taylorsville police, which he reportedly did on Oct. 1.

“My whole concern was to get him to go to the police station”, Tiffany Carter said. “They didn’t do anything to help him at all,” she added of the police alleged lackluster response.

Tiffany Carter says police did not provide much help, in fact, she went on to say her son’s claims were initially dismissed. Tiffany Carter says while she wrapped up a family matter in Fayette, MS, she asked a family friend to go to Taylorsville on Oct. 2, to assist her son in distress. Carter says her friend, Esha Green, also filed a report on her son’s behalf.

In an interview with Vicksburg News, Green recounted her steps in search for Rasheem Carter on October 2.

“‘When I first got there I went to the Chevron and I waited there for a little while, I went to the Piggly Wiggly and Jr. Food Mart and the Family Dollar Store and I went in and asked have they seen him a and they said no. Green also drove to many other places including Carter’s hotel in Laurel but she would never make contact with him,” the news outlet reported.

“When I got there [Taylorsville Police Department] and asked for the information report [Green made to police], they wouldn’t give it to me, instead he wanted to point fingers about the situation instead of giving me what I’m asking him for,” Tiffany Carter said describing her experience once at the Taylorsville Police station desperately trying to learn details leading up to her son’s disappearance.

“The last time I talked to him was October 2, 2022, and at 10:46 in the morning,” Tiffany Carter said recounting the last conversation she had with her son. She believes her son’s troubles began days earlier leading up to October 2 after sharing, her son and his supervisor were not getting along.

In a text message to his mom, Rasheem reportedly said, “me and the owner of this company not seeing eye to eye mama,” in the text message his mother shared.

WLBT reports authorities say Rasheem Carter was last seen outside a Super 8 Hotel, where he was staying, on Oct. 2, in Laurel, Mississippi about an hour east of Taylorsville; however, Tiffany Carter disputes those claims by asserting her son never made it back to Laurel because he lacked his own transportation at the time.

Tiffany Carter says her son’s vehicle was inoperable, leaving him to ride with a coworker. The transportation arrangement ceased after Rasheem Carter and the coworker got into an argument, leaving him to walk on Oct. 2. A couple days later, Tiffany Carter went to Taylorsville to file a missing persons report with Taylorsville police and the Laurel Police departments.

Rasheem Carter’s family say they formed search parties near the area his cellphone indicated he was last detected to search for him in the days following his disappearance. It wasn’t until a month later when Smith County Sheriff’s Office publicly announced Carter’s remains were found in a field in Taylorsville on November 2.

Rasheem Carter’s mother says deputies notified her six days earlier on October 27, to identify an image of Rasheem captured on surveillance timestamped October 2, the day he went missing. Tiffany Carter says although she has seen her son’s body in a photo provided by deputies, she has yet to see his body in person.

“They had captured him on a deer feeding image on October 2, and it looked like it had been cut off and they sent it to her [Tiffany Carter] to ask her if that’s her child,” said Tarsha Clark, Rasheem Carter’s cousin referring to the surveillance capturing what’s believed to be Rasheem Carter in a field in Taylorsville.

“They identified him by the pants he had on, his wallet was found, his key card to his hotel room,” Clark added.

Adding to the family’s hurt, Smith County Sheriff’s Office, the agency tasked with investigating Rasheem Carter’s death, announced on their official Facebook page, authorities have “no reason to believe foul play was involved, but the case is still under investigation.”

“They’ve already decided there was no foul play,” Falica Kaho, Rasheem Carter’s aunt, said angrily, upset that foul play seemingly has been ruled out despite claims white men had been following him leading up to his disappearance.

“A child full of life, walked into a field and just died?! You’re not going to sit here and tell me that,” Clark said.

Rasheem Carter’s family questions Smith County Sheriff Office rush to rule out foul play given the circumstances leading up to his disappearance and death.

“The games that Taylorsville are playing, and Smith County are playing, they need to get smarter at what they’re doing, they’re clumsy and they don’t know what they’re doing, they’ve dropped the ball in so many different ways,” Clark said.

Atlanta Black Star made several phone calls and sent emails to the Taylorsville Police Department to question the agency if Rasheem Carter approached them with concerns about being followed by white men in trucks, but Taylorsville Police sent Atlanta Black Star’s questions and concerns to the Smith County Sheriff’s Office who is currently investigating the case.

Atlanta Black Star made several phone calls to the Smith County Sheriff with questions including if foul play has already been ruled out and if the autopsy was completed, but Atlanta Black Star’s phone calls were not returned.

The Smith County Sheriff’s Office said on its official Facebook page, “We want to reiterate that this is an ongoing investigation. Other agencies, including MBI and FBI, have assisted as well. All details have been given solely to the mother, and if and when she wants anything additional released, or if we find anything else that the public needs to know, we will release that information at that time.”

Smith County Sheriff, Joel Houston, told Vicksburg News, “He never seemed to be in any distress or anything and he never mentioned anything about being in immediate danger,” referring to Carter’s attempt to contact Taylorsville Police about the white men claimed to be following him. Houston went on to say, “[Carter] was just trying to find a ride back to Laurel when he came in contact with police.”

Despite Rasheem Carter’s belongings found in the field, his family says they are still waiting on the body to be returned from the Mississippi Crime Lab so they can conduct their own independent autopsy.

Rasheem Carter’s family plan to hire a lawyer to help them get answers from authorities.

Without a body, the family has not held any formal funeral or memorial services for Rasheem Carter. Tiffany Carter says she’s now grappling with her son’s 6-year-old daughter having to grow up without her father. “I know it’s going to be challenging because her and her father had a great relationship,” she said.

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