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Body discovered by fishermen in Pearl River confirmed to be missing Jackson man

Dau Mabil
Dau Mabil has been missing since March 25 (Photo from Facebook)

The body that was discovered by fishermen in the Pearl River over the weekend has officially been identified as Dau Mabil, a Sudanese refugee who had been reported missing out of the Belhaven area of Jackson since March 25.

Lawrence County Sheriff Ryan Everett confirmed on Thursday that Dau Mabil’s dead body had been discovered, though initial reports suggest that no foul play is suspected.

Nonetheless, Bul Mabil, Dau’s brother, took to the Hinds County Chancery Court to file a temporary restraining order against Karissa Bowley, Dau’s wife, and others to halt the body being released until an official autopsy is conducted. Bul requested this on suspicion that his brother did not merely vanish and disappear without first being harmed, suggesting that the wife was allegedly involved.

“When I see that my brother went missing on Monday and I got a call on Tuesday — a day later — that was strange. There was no other immediate relative here in the United States, except me, that if my brother went missing, she could have called me. That was one of the red flags,” Bul said in a press conference. “Perhaps, maybe, did they (Dau and Bowley) have an argument? If they did, that may have caused my brother’s disappearance and all signs point to that.”

Hinds County Chancellor Dewayne Thomas granted Bul’s request on Thursday and ordered the state to conduct an autopsy and is allowing the family to pursue a private autopsy if they deem it necessary.

Dau, 37, was last seen 24 days ago when he left his home to go for a routine walk at the Museum Trail in Belhaven Heights around lunchtime, according to Bowley. The now missing man did not bring his phone during his walk, which wasn’t atypical for him, but it left family, friends, and law enforcement without a direct means of communication. He last wore an orange long-sleeved shirt and blue pants with a yellow hoodie around his waist and is described as being six-foot-one and weighing 145 pounds.

One of the 20,000 Sudanese refugees known as the “Lost Boys,” Dau came to Mississippi in 2000 with 48 others from a North Kenya refugee camp through the work of multiple charity groups. He was then hired by Jackson restauranteur Jeff Good for a part-time gig and worked his way up to becoming an everyday pizza chef at the popular Sal N’ Mookies restaurant.

Efforts by law enforcement, family, and concerned community members to find Dau have proved futile thus far. Congressman Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., has even called for the United States Department of Justice to open an investigation into Dau’s disappearance.

Bul is asking all law enforcement agencies to continue looking into his brother’s death. Bowley, who is legally considered Dau’s next-of-kin, is asking the court to amend its order, giving her authority whether or not to determine if an autopsy is necessary and to halt any autopsy from occurring until law enforcement completes its investigation.

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