crimesider

Family wants more information about Otis Byrd's hanging death

Otis Byrd

CBS News

JACKSON, Miss. -- Lawyers hired by the family of a black man found hanging in Mississippi say they are hiring independent experts to conduct an investigation separate from the one pursued by state and federal authorities.

Byrd was found hanging near his home in Port Gibson last month. Authorities are trying to determine if he was killed or took his own life.

Attorney Dennis Sweet IV said Wednesday that family members do not believe 54-year-old Otis Byrd died by suicide.

"We plan to conduct independent investigation," Sweet said.

The FBI shared autopsy results with the family less than a week after Byrd was found, the Associated Press reports.

Attorney Dennis Sweet III says the family has not given autopsy results to him or the other attorneys.

"The family is grieving. They do plan to take action. There is a long history of lynching in Mississippi. Byrd was found dead three weeks ago and the family still has limited information and wants answers," Dennis Sweet III said.