Body found in Lee County creek still not identified

By Danza Johnson/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – Information in the pocket of a dead man found Monday in Tulip Creek may help identify him.
Lee County Sheriff Jim Johnson says he hopes so.
The Hispanic male, whose body may have been in the water as long as two weeks, had four different types of identification in his wallet, but Johnson said there is a chance it could have belonged to someone else.
The documents include:
• A resident alien card with the name Martinez-Genero Gonzalez born May 31, 1982.
• A secondary California ID card with the name Genero Martinez-Gonzalez, also born on May 31, 1982,
• A Mexican voter registration card with the name Genero Gonzalez Martinez.
• A U.S. Social Security card with a combination of the same names.
Johnson said the fact each form of identification had the same three names in different orders adds to the mystery.
“We have a picture of an individual who goes by one of these names and who’s been missing for the same length of time this body has possibly been in the water,” Johnson noted. “We are not ready to say the picture we have is the same person on the identification of the man we pulled out of the water.”
The body was so badly decomposed that it could not be identified by photograph.
Lee County Coroner Carolyn Gillentine said an autopsy was ordered and is expected to be done next week.
The man in the picture Johnson holds has been missing since May 29, the sheriff said.
At least two previous addresses of a person with the names Martinez Genero Gonzalez were located in Lee County. One was on Peach Tree Lane in Tupelo and the other was on Highway 178 in the Skyline community.
He’s believed to have been born in Mexico and in the Lee County area about five years. His legal status is unknown, which apparently is increasing the difficulty to identify him.
Johnson said he needs people who know Martinez Genero Gonzalez or the man in the picture to call the Sheriff’s Department at (662) 841-9040.

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