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Man’s body found buried in shallow grave in Sontag

Lawrence County authorities are seeking information concerning the identity of a man’s body found buried in a shallow grave in Sontag.

Sheriff Lessie Butler said the body appears to be a black male between the ages of 25 and 30 years old. He estimates the man was buried sometime in late July.

The body has been sent to the state crime lab for an autopsy to determine the cause of death. He hopes they’ll be able to match dental records to learn his identity as well.

Butler said a minister discovered the grave Wednesday morning when he checked on his property. No one lives there and it was overgrown, Butler said. The man hadn’t planned to visit until October or November, but had contracted an agency to do work there and went to check on the condition of the land.

“He just checks his place every so often and he was trying to plant some trees. He just happened to go by there,” Butler said.

When the landowner discovered what he thought might be a grave he called authorities.

Butler said deputies checked the depth of the soft dirt and determined it could be a grave. 

The Mississippi Bureau of Investigation and Lawrence County Coroner Sandy Lambert were notified about 1 p.m. The body was exhumed and transported to the crime lab in Jackson, he said.

Butler is asking anyone who has any information about the person to call the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office at 601-587-2961.