KEY POINTS

  • The two men found the dead body inside a vehicle with the sign "free car"
  • The car's keys were inside the vehicle
  • Authorities are trying to determine how the body ended up there 

Two Mississippi men went for a joyride in a "free car," but were shocked to find a dead body in its trunk. 

The men spotted the car at 9:30 a.m. Saturday in Byram with the keys inside and a "free car" sign on the windshield, Copiah County Coroner Ellis Stuart told WLBT-TV.  The men then took the car for a joyride and upon reaching their destination, found the body inside the trunk. 

Officials are now trying to determine how the body ended up in the car's trunk. The body has since been identified as that of Anthony Mccrillis, 34. Stuart told WLBT-TV that the body, which had no clothes on, had been there for several days. 

"He was identified through his tattoos and confirmed through the immediate family of his identity," Byram Police Chief David Errington told the outlet. "It stayed there all day long for sure until 6 PM," Errington added.

"I figured somebody was driving down here to sell it. We buy a bunch of cars. I figured somebody was driving down to sell it, and it quit on them or something. Just never dawned on me that something like that went on."

Errington said Mccrillis was last seen alive just a few days ago. "We do know that our victim was alive at 9 PM on Friday night," he said. "He was seen on a home surveillance video."

Errington said Mccrillis' body bore no signs of trauma and that they are processing the car for evidence. An autopsy will be conducted to determine the exact cause of the man's death. Copiah County sheriff Byron Swilley told The News and Observer that the men who had been in the car weren’t facing charges as of Tuesday. 

"We believe that ... the body was already in the car when the two individuals took possession of it," Swilley told The News and Observer. 

In August, a 37-year-old Florida driver was arrested and charged with murder after a dead body was discovered in the trunk of his car. The man, identified as Johnny Lee Akins Jr., was accused of shooting James Matthews, 42, to death. Police found drugs in Akins' car during a search and Akins was "in a state of excited delirium." Akins allegedly shot and killed Matthews before transporting his body from a residence in Escambia County, where the latter's car was discovered partially on fire. 

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