Autopsy ordered to determine ID of Meridian body

Published 4:31 pm Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Lauderdale County authorities are awaiting autopsy results to determine the identity of a body found over the weekend.

Chief Sheriff’s Deputy Ward Calhoun said the body is believed to be that of Richard Smith, who had been missing for a month.

“We do believe based on clothing, that it is Mr. Smith, but we’re not 100 percent sure, until some dental records have been examined,” Calhoun said Sunday. “This investigation will continue.”

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Calhoun said the body was found Saturday by friends and Smith family members in a wooded area about 150 yards off a county road near Mississippi Highway 145. They called 911.

Smith, 67, was first reported missing on Oct. 26 from his home. An initial search by family, friends and volunteers with the Lauderdale County Emergency Management Agency turned up nothing.

Family members say Smith was suffering from a severe heart condition, and they believe a change in medications caused him to become confused.