JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - What began as a seemingly routine pick-up truck fire off the side of a Jackson County highway turned into something much more gruesome Wednesday around 11am. The body of a man was found inside, and his death is being treated as a homicide.
"First responders found this truck here to the rear on fire, and as they were tackling the fire itself, they discovered there was a deceased person inside the vehicle," Gautier Police Sgt. Matt Hoggatt.
Several agencies were called in to help the investigation, including the Gautier Police Department, the state Fire Marshal's Office and the Mississippi Crime Lab. Officers spent two hours combing the area looking for clues to help solve this mystery.
Because of the strange nature of the death, Hoggatt said it's considered a violent crime, at least for now.
"It's certainly suspicious. We're working this under the estimation that it could be a homicide. But we're going to determine what caused it and determine if it was accidental or any type of intentional act," Hoggatt explained.
Piecing together the puzzle will be a difficult job because there no apparent witnesses, and because of the location of the truck. Still, investigators are confident they will crack this case.
"We've got some of the best people in the state and will continue to do so and we'll be here until we answer the questions," Hoggatt emphasized.
Police are hoping those answers will come quickly. Jackson County Coroner Vicki Broadus also describes the death as very suspicious, and said an autopsy will be done Thursday morning to determine exactly how the victim died. His identity will not be released until that autopsy is complete.