State, Local Officials Probe Mystery

An unidentified body was found inside a burned chicken house that had bales of hay stored inside near Lake, Miss., around 10:00 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 21.

Newton County Sheriff Jackie Knight contacted the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation for assistance.

Local firefighters had put out a fire in the structure on Monday, Oct. 17. Officials say workers for the owner were cleaning up the property Friday when they discovered the body.

Autopsy results identified the body only as that of a black female.

The MBI investigator notified other law enforcement agencies around the country of the discovery and requested missing person's reports that might be applicable. He was subsequently contacted by Illinois authorities, who agreed to provide dental records of a missing university student for comparison.

Among other things, investigators are waiting for the medical examiner's report.

In the meantime, the Mississippi Crime Laboratory is processing the site where the body was found for further clues, and investigators from the Newton County Sheriff's Department, Mississippi Bureau of Investigation and Normal (Ill.) Police Department are pursuing additional leads.

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