A decomposed body found in a wooded area in Moss Point has been positively identified as missing Pascagoula man, Shawn Elliot Martin, 26.
Deputy Coroner Carole Anne Burnett-Fagan said Monday that authorities made the identification based on information from the coroner’s office that included dental records. The cause and manner of death are still under review by the state medical examiner’s office in Jackson, the deputy coroner said.
The last time anyone heard from Martin was March 21, his mother, Leah Kimble said, when a friend called her son as he was filling up his gas tank at a store on Mississippi 63 in Moss Point.
His family said he was supposed to be headed to Atlanta.
A search team for the Martin family found his remains in a wooded area off Monarch Street. Moss Point Police Chief Brandon Ashely said folks are known to gather to drink there and do drugs.
The area is about 3 miles west of Mississippi 63.
A family’s search
After his disappearance, Martin’s family and friends posted fliers asking for information that would lead them to Martin’s whereabouts.
The family also offered a $10,000 reward to find him.
Since his disappearance, Martin’s friend, including fellow members of the Pascagoula-based street gang, Gunz, Bricks, Money, have posted pleas for help on Facebook.
In one of the social media posts, a friend donned a black T-shirt that read in blue, “#BringShawnHome” and “GBM4Life.” The gang’s colors are black and blue.
Since his disappearance, Martin mother’s kept hope that she would find her son alive.
The investigation heated up after Moss Point police found Martin’s abandoned green GMC Yukon near a building on Monarch Street not far from where his body was found.
A neighbor, Nettie Johnson, said she saw the SUV parked there for several days before police found it and recovered the vehicle to search for evidence.
Johnson’s property is adjacent to the area where the search team found his remains.
Johnson had just returned from church when she drove up and saw people from the search group upset and grieving after finding what they suspected was Martin’s body.
Martin lived with his mother at her Pascagoula home, though she said he’d sometimes stay at a motel for a few days. He usually headed to Atlanta to visit friends when he went on out-of-town trips.
Run-ins with the law
After her son’s disappearance, Martin’s mother described him as “fun-loving” and the kind of guy who liked to tell jokes and help people out.
Martin attended Pascagoula High School and later obtained his GED. He was not working at the time of his disappearance, but had worked most recently helped with hurricane cleanup in Florida.
Over the years, Martin has had run-ins with the law, but Kimble said her son had been trying to do better in recent years.
“Most of the people in town knew him,” Kimble said in an earlier interview. “Even though he’s had some issues with the law, he was still a good kid. He just made some bad choices some time ago. He loved to joke and he loved his family.”
To report information, call the Moss Point Police Department at 228-475-1711 or Mississippi Coast Crime Stoppers at 877-787-5898.