The Murder of Rasheem Carter

Rasheem Ryelle Carter, 25, was reported missing on October 2, 2022 in Taylorsville, Mississippi. His first and second set of remains were discovered one month later, in a wooded area called Deer Run, approximately one mile north of Taylorsville on November 2, 2022. His third set of remains were discovered on February 23, 2023. This remains an open and active investigation.

Rasheem Carter

Rasheem Carter was born on October 28, 1996, to Tiffany Carter and Robert Lee Frye (1976-2011). He grew up in the small town of Fayette, Mississippi. Rasheem was a star wide receiver on the football team and the captain of the baseball team at Jefferson County High School. He graduated from Hinds Community College in 2016 with a degree in welding and cutting technology. Carter was a well-known music artist on the local scene. He was a very proud father to a six-year-old daughter, Cali. Carter was temporarily employed as a welder and working as a contract worker at a large plant owned by a company called Georgia-Pacific, in the south central area of Mississippi. He had taken the short-term contract position because of his seafood restaurant, Cali’s Express, in Fayette, MS, having to close because of the financial strain of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to his mother, Tiffany, Carter was saving his money to re-open his restaurant, which he had initially opened in August 2019 and named after his daughter.

The Disappearance of Rasheem Carter

Rasheem Carter had been sharing a motel room with another co-worker, at the Super 8 Motel in Laurel, MS, approximately 30 miles away from his job site in the small town of Taylorsville, pop. 1148. Carter had been having car problems, so he had been riding to and from work with that co-worker. On October 1, 2022, they had gotten into an argument and after work, the co-worker had left for the motel without him. An employee of the Junior Food Mart saw Carter looking for a cell phone charger. It was later reported that although the various security cameras located inside and outside of the store were operational, there was no security footage of Carter ever being in the store.

While at the store, Carter had a texting conversation with his mother, Tiffany Carter, where he explained he was afraid for his life because he believed that there was a large group of white men that were attempting to hunt him down and kill him. His mother instructed him to report any harassment to the Taylorsville Police Department immediately, which he did, but the level of assistance offered to him remains unclear. Carter asked officers for a ride to the Super 8 Motel in Laurel, but they refused. The Taylorsville, Mississippi Police Department allegedly informed him that where he wanted to go was out of their jurisdiction. Police still don’t know where Carter spent the night. The next morning, once again, Carter contacted the Taylorsville Police Department regarding a group of white men who, he said, were still attempting to hunt him down to hurt him. The level of help extended to Carter regarding this second report also remains unclear.

Carter spoke with his mother, Tiffany, on the phone where he explained the series of events and implicated his boss in the event that anything happened to him. His mother, not being in the area, attempted to find him a ride and offer any support that she could.

Initially, law enforcement had reported that they did not find any video footage of Carter had within the local community. That changed later when they later found security footage which allegedly captured Carter leaving the Family Dollar in Taylorsville at around 10:15 a.m. on the morning of October 2, 2022. It is thought he disappeared later that day. When they hadn’t heard from him the next morning, Carter’s family filed a missing person’s report with the Laurel Police Department in Laurel, MS, which was the area where Rasheem had been staying.

 

Trail Cam Photo of Rasheem Carter

The Discovery of Rasheem Carter

On November 1, 2022, Joel Houston, Sheriff of Smith County, MS, contacted Tiffany Carter to ask her if they could verify an image, dated October 2, 2022, at 4:32 p.m., that had been captured on a trail camera of a local landowner. The image reveals the man captured was running shirtless and carrying a small branch with bruises on the man’s back. Carter’s mother positively identify the image of her son, Rasheem.

The next day, November 2, 2022, one month after his disappearance, the first set of remains (a cleanly severed head) of Rasheem Carter was discovered in a densely forested area called Deer Run off of Highway 37, approximately one mile south of Taylorsville, MS. Blakeney family. The second set of remains (spinal cord, and a few small bone fragments) were recovered separately from the first set, on the same 2 acre parcel. DNA comparisons with the victim’s mother, Tiffany, confirmed the victim was Rasheem Carter.

The next day, November 2, 2022, one month after his disappearance, the first set of remains (a cleanly severed head) of Rasheem Carter was discovered in a densely forested area called Deer Run off of Highway 37, approximately one mile south of Taylorsville, MS. Blakeney family. The second set of remains (spinal cord, and a few small bone fragments) were recovered separately from the first set, on the same 2 acre parcel. DNA comparisons with the victim’s mother, Tiffany, confirmed the victim was Rasheem Carter.

Initially, Joel Houston, the Sheriff of Smith County, Mississippi, informed the family that no foul play was suspected and that he believed Carter had been a victim of a wild animal attack. According to Tiffany Carter, law enforcement informed her he must have gotten dehydrated and passed out, which made an attack from a wild animal easier to happen.

As more information came to light, local law enforcement stated on social media that they were not ruling out foul play, but further stated that there was no clear evidence of wrong-doing. It was further stated that animals could have scattered the remains, but the family has openly disagreed.

The Investigation of Rasheem Carter

As a result of the initial statements made to the family by Taylorsville investigators, Carter, with her legal counsel, made a request to federal law enforcement to investigate Rasheem’s death.

On February 2, 2023, the Mississippi State Medical Examiner’s Office conducted a forensic anthropology examination of the remains of Rasheem Carter. Bailey Martin, Press Secretary reported it for the Mississippi Department of Public Safety that a cause of death could not be determined because of the condition of Carter’s remains. It was specifically noted that Carter’s head had been severed from his spinal cord.

On February 23, 2022, a third set of remains was discovered apart from the area of the first two sets of remains. Investigators from Mississippi Crime Lab notified the Carter family through email that the third set discovered was confirmed to belong to Rasheem. At that time, forensic investigators formally stated that they believed Rasheem had been murdered but were still unable to list a specific cause of death.

Sheriff Houston stated he eliminated Carter’s co-workers as suspects. Their cell phones were pinging nearly 100 miles away from the crime scene on the day of Carter’s death. They had been at another job site when Carter’s image was captured on the game trail camera, which is believed to be minutes before his death.

The Aftermath of the Resheem Carter Case

Attention to the case of Resheem Carter’s death was held in local rural areas of Mississippi for the first few months. As news spread through smaller news channels, the public became more vocal across social media until it spread and grew to national level awareness. Several press conferences, rallies and peaceful protests have been conducted in honor of Carter’s memory and to extend further requests for justice to his murder. Benjamin Crump, the well-known civil rights attorney, is representing the Carter family through this difficult time. It has been repeatedly reported that tensions remain high among residents, law enforcement, peaceful protestors, and the family and friends of Rasheem Carter. It has been stated that there are opinions that Carter’s death was racially motivated.

The non-profit organization, You Are The Power, is offering a $50,000 reward for information that could lead to an arrest and conviction in Carter’s murder.

Justiss White, the mother of Rasheem’s daughter, had publicly stated that Rasheem was very close to his daughter. He worked very hard to provide for her and that they spoke daily on the telephone. White stated, “Every day, she brings him up.”

Rasheem Carter was laid to rest in the Hollywood Baptist Church Cemetery in Jefferson County, Mississippi.

The investigation into the murder of Rasheem Carter is being led by the Smith County, Mississippi Sheriff’s Department, with additional assistance provided by the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation.

The murder of Rasheem Carter remains an open and very active investigation.

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