Body found in county – Investigation under way to determine ID

Published 5:00 am Thursday, March 20, 2008

Lincoln County Sheriff Steve Rushing has confirmed that a bodyhas been found in a rural area of the northeast corner of thecounty.

The man’s body was found on Thorn Trail Wednesday night by adeputy who was out patrolling remote roads. After his discovery,the road was closed off to traffic. Rushing said the MississippiState Crime Lab, the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation, and theMississippi Highway Patrol arrived on the scene Thursdaymorning.

“We’ve been looking for a couple of missing persons in thecounty and one of our deputies was out searching remote roads,”Rushing said. “He noticed something from the roadway. And when hegot out and checked, he found the remains.”

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Thorn Trail is located near the intersection of Sunset Road andBahalia Road, where a vehicle last driven by Travis Henderson, 27,of Brookhaven, was found abandoned on Jan. 7. In spite ofcontinuing search efforts, Henderson has been missing ever sincehis family reported him missing at that time.

The body had been exposed to the elements for at least a month,Rushing said.

“Obviously it’s been here upwards of a month, my best estimateis one to two,” Rushing said. “It’s pretty well decomposed.”

Rushing said at this time he cannot make a statement regardingwhether the remains are Henderson’s.

“I can’t say that right now,” he said. “MBI has ananthropologist coming to the scene who will be able to tell us moreabout age and gender. And the Crime Lab is here now, getting readyto start doing their investigation.”

Thorn Trail is a gravel road in the northeast part of the countythat connects to Autry Lane and International Road. Rushing said itis not heavily traveled.

“It’s in a remote area of the county,” he said. “There are nohouses on this road at all, I don’t believe. It’s mainly used as acut-through road.”

Rushing said the Sheriff’s Department should be able to releasemore information as the investigation continues.

Authorities have also been searching for Virginia Ratliff. The83-year-old woman disappeared from her Brookhaven home in lateFebruary, and continuing efforts to locate her have so far beenunsuccessful.