missing person graphic

The search for a missing Smith County man had a sad ending.

The body of James Benjamin Jernigan, 28, of Taylorsville was found in an abandoned home in Shady Grove on Easter, Sgt. J.D. Carter of the Jones County Sheriff’s Department reported.

The owner of the property off Highway 15 North, near Greenbriar Drive, was cutting grass when he noticed that the door had been opened, Carter said. When he went inside, he found the body.

It’s an “apparent suicide,” Carter said, adding that there was no evidence of foul play and “no sign of any struggle.” It appeared that the deceased used a trailer tie-down to hang himself in a back bedroom of the home. There was a bag of clothes inside, too, suggesting he had been staying there.

Property owner Mike Smith told Carter that he has had problems with people going into the dilapidated home. 

The JCSD was called out to investigate the scene and Deputy Coroner Ernest Hollingsworth pronounced Jernigan dead. 

The Leader-Call doesn’t report on suicides except in certain circumstances, such as when there’s an investigation. Jernigan was identified because his name and photo were posted on Facebook as a missing person back in February.

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Y’all should check with are family next time before you post something like this on social media. We do not want this on social media and would appreciate it if y’all would take it down. This post has information in it that we would only like to stay with in our family.

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