Found body identified; cause of death unknown

Published 2:31 pm Saturday, August 30, 2003

By By BEN RAYMOND LODE / Niles Daily Star
NILES -- The body that was discovered by two young boys on Thursday evening who were walking in the woods near the 900 block of S. Ninth St. in Niles has been identified.
The deceased person found in the wooded area just southwest of Silverbrook and Ninth Street has been identified as Jimmie Lee Carter Jr, said a press release issued by the Niles City Police Department on Friday afternoon.
Carter was 52 years old and a life-long resident of the Niles area. However, he currently lived at 554 Pearl St. in Benton Harbor.
The cause of death still remains unknown, but there appears to be no signs of foul play, police said.
Capt. Jim Merriman, Niles City Police Department, said police are waiting for more information from the autopsy before being able to determine the cause of Carter's death.
He said during the autopsy nothing jumped out as a likely cause of death.
Merriman said getting the information needed to determine the cause of death could take weeks.
The search for what caused Carter's death is made even more difficult because the coroners don't know what they are looking for, Merriman said.
Officers located Carter's body after entering the woods a short distance from the roadway and called detectives to the area upon their find.
The body was then removed from the scene and transported to Lakeland Hospital where the autopsy was performed on Friday.
Although no one knows for certain, there is a possibility Carter could have been involved in a car accident that happened earlier this week.
The press release said on Monday, Aug. 25, Carter was visiting friends in the Niles area when he borrowed a vehicle from one of his friends.
The vehicle was later involved in a minor roll over personal injury accident at 11th and Fort Street.
The driver of that vehicle fled the area on foot.
Descriptions by witness to the accident of the man who fled on foot fit the description of Mr. Carter, the press release said.
The direction of travel also fit with the location of where Mr Carter was located at the time.
Michigan State Police Niles Post 53 is still investigating the roll over accident and is working with the Niles City Police Department to get to the bottom of Carter's death.