No next of kin for deceased man

Published 12:25 am Sunday, December 7, 2008

A man who was found lying on a sidewalk and later pronounced dead still needs next of kin to claim him.

The man was found on the 200 block of Bruce Street on Nov. 25, by a passerby who called 911 at about 5:20 p.m., said Picayune Public Information Officer Theresa Milar. Officers were dispatched to the area and found the man lying on the sidewalk. He was identified as 53 year old Jeffery Rice of Picayune.

Ambulance services arrived, attempted CPR and took Rice to Highland Community Hospital, Milar said. Officers spoke to the doctor on duty who informed them that Rice had been out too long and was unable to be revived.

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Pearl River County Coroner Derek Turnage said Rice’s cause of death is still under investigation but foul play is not suspected.

Turnage has attempted to find next of kin ever since, but to no avail. All avenues of finding Rice’s next of kin have been exhausted, so Turnage said he may have to resort to having Rice’s remains cremated by the county, if the Board of Supervisors gives its approval to do so on Monday.

Apparently, the contact information Rice provided to his bonding agent in 2006 was inaccurate. Attempts to contact his family and friends so far have been unsuccessful.

“These people we were trying to contact said they had no idea who this individual was. It looks like he gave the bail bonding company information that was false,” Turnage said.

Turnage asks anyone who may have information about Rice’s next of kin to contact his office at 601-795-1072.