Knee implant helps ID body

Published 5:00 am Monday, June 10, 2002

Two weeks after a decomposed body was found in a west LincolnCounty wooded area, orthopedic records have been used to identifythe body, said Coroner-Medical Examiner Clay McMorris.

The body was identified as that of Robert Earl Terrell, 55, ofBrookhaven.

“We were glad to be able to identify the body,” said McMorris,who informed Terrell’s family of the results Saturday.

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Terrell’s body was found May 24 near a pipeline off Porter’sTrail. At the time, authorities estimated it had been there aboutone to two weeks.

With no dental history, authorities had to use alternate meansin trying to identify the body, McMorris said.

McMorris said Terrell was involved in a logging accident in 1986and had surgery at Baptist Hospital in Jackson. The coroner said heobtained Terrell’s medical records and turned them over topathologist Dr. Steve Hayne.

McMorris said Hayne and an anthropologist then were able to makean orthopedic identification of the body from a knee implant thatTerrell received during the surgery.

The autopsy was unable to determine a cause of death, McMorrissaid, but it ruled there was no foul play involved. There was noevidence of foul play when the body was found, but authorities didnot rule out that possibility until the body was identified.

Following its discovery, authorities believed the body was thatof a local person but were unable to confirm that suspicion. Therehad been no reports of missing persons in the two weeks before thebody was found.

McMorris said he was glad the identification will allow thefamily to have some closure in the case.

Terrell’s body will be taken to Williams’ Mortuary. Funeralarrangements are incomplete.