by Max Brantley
The Commercial Appeal reports the FBI is investigating the death of a Forrest City man as a potential hate crime. Marcel Cameo Tye's mangled body was found beside a highway. Tye was wearing women's clothing and local authorities have described him as transgender.
The FBI typically looks at cases that appear to be based on gender, sexual orientation or other discriminatory categories. "We think there's enough from the physical evidence" to launch an investigation, [Steve] Frazier said.
UPDATE: The Forrest City Times Herald reports Tye was shot in the head with a small-caliber weapon and run over by a vehicle. Sheriff Bobby May said investigators believe the body was run over as the vehicle fled the scene. He told the newspaper he doubts the death was a hate crime. More from the Times-Herald
“We’re still waiting on a written report from the crime lab, but at this time they have released that Mr. Tye was shot in the head with a small caliber weapon and that his body was then dragged underneath the vehicle. There were some indications of burns to the body, which would have been caused by the muffler or catalytic convertor, and I’m pretty confident in saying that he was not dragged behind a vehicle as some reports have it. We have someone who lives near where the incident took place who said they heard two gunshots early Tuesday morning,” said May.
May also said he is confident the murder was not a hate crime.
“I think at this point we can safely say, and the federal authorities feel this way too, that this was not a hate crime. It could have been a number of different things that happened ranging from a lover’s quarrel that ended badly to a robbery that ended badly, but we do not feel that it had anything to do with the fact that Mr. Tye was transgender,” said May.