Mississippi County Victim Identified

Mississippi County Victim Identified
By: CJ Cassidy

CHARLESTON, MO --New details on the investigation into a body found dumped in Mississippi County.  Police say the man died of a gunshot to the back of the head. They also say he was shot in the side of the neck and groin area.

Now, investigators say they know who the victim is, but won't reveal his identity until they've notified his family.  Investigators do say they came up with a match when they input the victim's fingerprints into the National Crime Information Center.  That's a computerized database operated by the FBI.

The next step is to figure out if the actual shooting took place in Mississippi County.
In the meantime, the gruesome discovery is also at the top of a lot of other people's minds.     
"I was shocked. I was wondering who this person is," Irma Russell says. She's just one member of a growing Hispanic population in Mississippi County.
"They just come over here when they hear there's jobs around. They move over even when they don't know anybody," Russell says.
When she heard the body discovered lying in a ditch this weekend belonged to a Hispanic male, she began making her own inquiries at the school she works at in East Prairie. 
"It bothers me. He may have a wife, a family, so I asked my students about him too," she says. 
Investigators say the only distinguishing marks on the victim's body are tattoos on his arms.
"Either he had something on someone or knew something suspicious because for someone to kill someone in this manner and dump their body in a ditch bank is a very gruesome manner of death," Coroner Terry Parker says.
Parker says the victim was shot in the back of the head, similar to an execution style killing, and was also shot in the side of the neck and groin area.     
Parker says the victim's body has been embalmed, and will be held for ten days as Missouri law dictates.
"After that tenth day if resources aren't available to store the remains we'll either bury the  body at the county cemetary or we will cause the body to be cremated and hold the cremated remains here at funeral home indefinitely," Parker says.
Back in East Prairie, Irma Russell hopes it doesn't come to that.
"I think his family needs to know," she says.
Police still need your help.
If you noticed anything suspicious along County Road 430 just North of East Prairie last weekend or on Friday, please call the Sheriff's Department, at (573) 683-2111.