Hancock County

Man’s body found in Kiln, but who is he and what happened?

Hancock County Coroner Jim Faulk
Hancock County Coroner Jim Faulk jcfitzhugh@sunherald.com

A body found in Kiln on Sunday has not been identified, but tests will be done to determine if it’s a man reported missing Oct. 4 or someone else, Coroner Jim Faulk said.

The remains were found in woods behind the Silver Creek subdivision, Faulk said.

“The cause of death is not known at this time,” he said. “We don’t have a positive identification yet and we don’t know if it’s criminal or not.”

Geron Diette, 39, has been missing more than a week. He was last seen Oct. 3 and was reported missing Oct. 4, the coroner said.

The remains found Sunday had been in the woods long enough to require tests to confirm the identity.

Diette’s mother will provide a DNA sample for testing, Faulk said.

“An investigator has been assigned to the case, but we don’t know enough yet to tell you anything,” he said.

Hancock County Chief Investigator Glenn Grannan said the death is not being considered a criminal matter at this time.

Autopsy pending

The body has been sent to the Mississippi Forensics Laboratory in Pearl, but no information is available yet, Faulk said.

Autopsies in many cases are taking “a ridiculously long time,” Faulk said. “It seems to stretch out forever. It’s like the difference in night and day,” he said, noting a void left by the January 2015 death of Dr. Paul McGarry.

McGarry was the longtime forensic pathologist who performed death investigations at various locations across South Mississippi. Since his death, bodies requiring an autopsy have been sent to Pearl.

“I feel so bad because Dr. McGarry’s gone,” Faulk said. “He was the best. And I absolutely hate it for the families who now have to wait to hear about autopsy results.”

SunHerald.com will update this report as more details become available.