SHERIFF: 2 ‘persons of interest’ brought in for questioning after body discovered in trunk of car

Published 7:54 am Thursday, April 13, 2023

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NATCHEZ — Adams County Sheriff Travis Patten said investigators continue to question “persons of interest” during the ongoing investigation of a body found in the trunk of a car Wednesday in Natchez.

“Currently, we have two persons of interest in custody and we will update the public as this investigation continues on,” Patten said. “No family wants to find their missing loved ones like this, so our thoughts and prayers are with them at this time.”

Authorities believe the human remains found in the trunk of a car on Cindy Lane in Natchez belong to a man who was reported missing in Concordia Parish after a family member identified them.

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According to Concordia Parish Sheriff’s Office, Christopher Lee Sanders, 45, had been reported missing on Tuesday. His family stated he was last seen on April 4.

Adams County Sheriff Travis Patten said investigators had just received the missing person’s report when they received a call stating that his car may be on Cindy Lane, near U.S. 61 North in Natchez.

“We went out there to check today at approximately 10 a.m. this morning, and we were able to locate the victim’s vehicle. Upon approaching the vehicle, we could smell a strong odor emanating from the vehicle.”

Patten said other deputies were called and the remains were found inside the trunk. One individual in a nearby house was detained for questioning.

Coroner James Lee said the remains were probably a week old and no identification card was present.

“I’m hoping an autopsy will tell us more,” he said. “It’s a terrible situation.”

Patten said it’s still unclear whether the death was accidental or intentional until other persons of interest are questioned. Because of the type of car, Patten said it wouldn’t have been possible to open the trunk from the inside but someone still could have climbed inside and closed it.

“His body was not bound, tapped or gagged or anything of that nature. He was just lying in the trunk, deceased. At this time, his cause of death is undetermined,” he said. “As of right now, there is a full investigation going on to determine what the cause of the death was, whether it was accidental or intentional. We have spoken with the family and our hearts and prayers go out to them. This is still an ongoing investigation.”