The family of the 54-year-old has hired Michael Baden to conduct an independent investigation on Byrd’s body, refusing to believe he took his own life, reports the Clarion-Ledger. Because the family decided to cremate Byrd’s body after the FBI’s official autopsy, Baden will examine medical records. Baden is known for his work on the reinvestigation of the John F. Kennedy assassination, for giving insight into the OJ Simpson trial, and his autopsy in the Michael Brown case.
While the FBI stated they handed over the information from the autopsy to Byrd’s family, their legal counsel disagreed.
“We don’t have the result of the autopsy and that’s the reason they retained counsel,” lawyer Dennis Sweet III said Wednesday.
The FBI also released a statement regarding the case, claiming they talked to the family on two separate occasions.
Sheriff Marvin Lucas said the first briefing was in Claiborne County on March 21. Then they met with them again in Jackson on March 24. Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Mississippi, Don Alway, says: “At each milestone in this case, the FBI’s first step is to personally brief family members. Though we haven’t publicly released autopsy results, on March 24, along with the MBI, investigators met with family representatives to discuss the state medical examiner’s findings and answer any questions. As we have since the outset, our team will continue to do so with any new development.”
Lucas backed up the FBI’s claims, stating that Byrd’s death shouldn’t be looked at as a racial issue.
“Some folks want to make a race issue out of this, and they say, ‘Well, the white folks hung him,’” Lucas said. “But nothing has proven that. We need to see what the evidence says. The government has sent almost 30 agents here, and they’re the finest agents in the USA, so let’s allow them to do their job.”
The family has requested privacy during the investigation and haven’t filed any charges against Claiborne County. A final report will be compiled once all the tests are completed by the federal lab in Virginia.
SOURCE: Clarion-Ledger | VIDEO CREDIT: NDN