Updated: 9/29/23 2 pm
Officials confident that human remains discovered Thursday are those of Leakesville teenager missing nearly two months.
From Staff Reports
Local officials confirmed Friday afternoon that they are near certain the skeletal remains found in Leakesville Thursday morning are those of a local teenager who had been missing for nearly two months.
Local and state authorities were still on the scene in Leakesville Friday afternoon. Officials are still reportedly awaiting results from DNA testing, but Sheriff Stanley McLeod told the Herald shortly after noon Friday that he is extremely confident the remains are those of 17-year-old Cortlen Jhase Landyn Moody of Leakesville, who has been missing since Friday, Aug. 4. Local search teams found the remains in a small pond while conducting a search of an area located across Miss. 57, roughly a mile from Moody’s residence on Williams Drive, where he was last seen before going missing.
Moody is believed to have walked away from his residence sometime between 5:30-8:00 a.m. on Aug. 4. He was believed to be wearing a blue and black shirt with with 2-tone shorts (black in front, blue in back). Family members said the young man suffered from autism.
Missing person alerts, news coverage and efforts by the family to spread word of the missing teen reportedly produced few leads. Sheriff’s department officials said they followed up on tips that led them from Benndale to a casino in Philadelphia, Miss. and many places in between. Search teams also conducted searches of wooded areas near his residence. Those searches involved the use of aerial drones with thermal imaging capability as well as teams conducting grid searches on foot. Sheriff McLeod said the search team that discovered the remains on Thursday was not acting on any new information regarding the case, but instead simply covering areas they had previously searched in an effort to be thorough.
Details on the discovery remain limited at the time of this report. More details will be released as they become available.
The Mississippi Bureau of Investigation is assisting in the case. Anyone with information regarding the situation is asked contact the Greene County Sherriff’s office at (601)394-2341 as the investigation into Moody’s disappearance remains active.