Meridian Beating Death Investigation

By: Tametria Conner Email
By: Tametria Conner Email

Meridian police say the discovery happened around 7:30 in the morning in an alleyway between the Hope Village Thrift Shop and the Jubilee Mennonite Church near the corner of 8th street and 27th Avenue in Meridian.

Police say a man walking by noticed a homeless man that was living in the alleyway had been lying in the same position for two days and he sensed that something may be wrong and called police.

Lauderdale County Coroner Clayton Cobbler determined that 52 year old Gary Caraway of Hickory had been dead since Sunday. Cobbler confirmed Caraway suffered head trauma and he says it appeared he had been beaten.

"We are not ruling a homicide out, but right now we are not classifying that as any particular cause right now until we get that indication from the crime lab," Meridian Police Captain James Sharpe said.

The actual cause of death has not been determined. Cobbler says it could take up to a month for complete autopsy results. Police are continuing the investigation.

"We have had contact from citizens who stated that they have let him come in, they've fed him they've let him sleep there during bad weather. And we're just trying to get a feel for who he was and how he might have died. Right now we don't have any indications of any real health problems," Sharpe said.


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  • by Anonymous on Jul 6, 2009 at 05:39 AM
    In response to Timbo..I know there are shelters and food kitchens, but it is so sad when we have so many homeless. If they have special needs I'm sure there are ways we can help them. About a week ago I bought a gentleman dinner and was handing it to him, when none other but meridian's finest come up behind us in their patrol car and used their car PA system to yell at the man....MOVE ALONG. The parking lot was full of other people, it was degrading and disrespectful the way they handled it. They could see me handing him food, as if his situation is not bad enough, but to have those who are supposed to protect him degrade and embaress him more! They could have rolled up and rolled their window down and asked him to leave instead of yelling it out over their PA system for all to hear. I lost respect for that officer at that moment. I know their job is tough but it is their choice to do that job. Serve and Protect ALL not just those who have homes!
  • by Blue on Jul 2, 2009 at 08:23 PM
    There's always someone ready to throw stones. Keep your heads up guys. It WILL get better!
  • by Anonymous on Jul 2, 2009 at 02:52 PM
    jamie and mista needs to get a life,seems they know alot may want question them
  • by Jamie Location: Meridian on Jul 2, 2009 at 02:32 PM
    I have to say that I agree with both Anonymous and Mista...I'm sorry but this is uncalled for and makes me scared for certain people I personally know who sleep wherever they can lie their heads at night. I am so sick and disgusted with the so-called arm of the law. We get a ticket for running a red light only because that certain cop at the moment just happen to be in a hurry to turn at his hastey green light to get to where?? Obviously nowhere because he had time to turn the opposite way to go after the vehicle to get ticket happy. However, he's not sitting nowhere close to a man getting brutally beaten with someone's cruelty
  • by Understanding Location: Meridian on Jul 2, 2009 at 10:54 AM
    A lot of times the homeless are people living with mental illness who are suffering and do not know how to get help. In the 60's - 70's the government chose to de-institutionalize our mental health hospitals. This resulted in an increased number of homeless people. However, you must know that Mississippi has a lot less homeless people compared to other states who kick people living with mental illness out on the street before they find placement if their symptoms are stable.
  • by Disgusted on Jul 2, 2009 at 10:10 AM
    Mista, why don't you go ride with the police sometime? Then you can ride, harass, eat doughnuts, joke...have drug addicts spit on you and fight you, have drunks puke on you while they insist they're okay to drive, feel the adrenaline rush of answering a domestic disturbance call, oh, and let's not forget, hoping and praying you'll make it home alive to your own family at the end of your shift, all while putting up with ungrateful, snide remarks from people who expect you to be in 10 places at once. Go fill out the form and jump on in.
  • by Timbo Location: Meridian on Jul 2, 2009 at 08:38 AM
    In response to Mista: The Police are too busy answering calls for gunfire in the streets and all of the domestic calls to be able to patrol the streets for "real crime". Over half of their calls or for crap like "my 16 year old won't take out trash" or some other stupid mess. Do the cops ride around alot? Yes they are so undermanned that is the only way they can get around town quickly. Should they be sitting around running radar? Yes that's part of law enforcement. Don't blame the cops for this man's death.Someboby in the community knows who did it, probably friends of the same thugs that are committing the shootings, robberies, and setting the school fires. Until the community continues to look the other way these little punks are going to continue to ruin or city. In response to anonymous, Meridian does try to take of the needs of the homeless. Shelters,kitchens,churches that are willing to help. Most of the homeless have so many other issues to deal with its hard to meet their needs
  • by Anonymous Location: Meridian on Jul 2, 2009 at 05:54 AM
    Why in our small town, a small town that is NOT poor, do we have so many homeless??? It makes no sense! Why on earth would you walk past a man laying in the streets and not help? WHY?? I know times are hard but come on there is no reason for us to have people who have to live on the streets and have no where to go and no food! Come on MERIDIAN you call yourself christians, and good people... well then help out our fellow Meridians in need! It only takes a small gesture, each person to do a small thing and it will all add up to a big thing! Look at that person who needs help don't ignore them!!! They are people, they are breathing, they have hearts and feelings!! We treat our homeless animals better than our homeless people! It just makes me so sick and sad for Meridian.
  • by Mista Location: MERIDIAN on Jul 1, 2009 at 11:47 PM
    What happened to the police who were suppose to 'patrol the streets' more? This guy was dead atleast a couple days before being discovered, according to the "Coroner", by a citizen. One has to wonder where the cops REALLY are especially in recent events dealing with the school fires, the shootings and robberies.....Oh but then again, this is Meridian, where cops only ride, harrass, eat doughnuts and joke....not to mention, break laws themselves.
  • by Anonymous on Jun 30, 2009 at 06:52 PM
    That is so sad I bet this man didn't bother no one
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