Coroner identifies man found dead in creek


Officials have identified the man found dead in a creek Friday morning near Walmart on U.S. 49.

Forrest County Coroner Butch Benedict said Jason Spencer, 38, was found dead with slight head trauma in the creek next to Service Drive along U.S. 49. Benedict said it appears Spencer, who was homeless and staying in the nearby wooded area, slipped and hit his head.

"It's real steep right there where he was staying," he said. "It looks like he might have slipped and fell and hit his head, and at that point landed in the creek."

Spencer was found by members of a homeless society who had come to check on him. Officers from Hattiesburg Police Department arrived on the scene shortly after 10 a.m. and conducted a death investigation.

Ryan Moore, public information officer with HPD, said officials found no signs of foul play.

Spencer will not be sent to the State Crime Lab in Jackson for an autopsy.

"There's no need to do an autopsy," Benedict said. "We saw a little bit of trauma, but nothing that was alarming."