Investigators from the sheriff’s office and the coroner recovered the body, which was sent to the Alabama Department of Forensic Science in Huntsville for identification and autopsy. Due to the condition of the body, local officials could not positively identify the remains.
Walker County Coroner J.C. Poe said the state forensic lab was able to identify Joseph from tattoos and other records on file.
According to Sheriff John Mark Tirey, the preliminary autopsy report lists the cause of death as a gunshot wound.
“We have every reason to believe this is a homicide,” Tirey said. “We are certainly investigating it that way.”
Jasper police took a missing person report on Joseph Sunday morning and found the body at the end of Florida Avenue while searching for him Monday afternoon.
According to police, Joseph was last seen on June 7.
Tirey said his department will be investigating the case fully and anyone with leads or information should call the sheriff’s office at 205-302-6464.
“We have conducted numerous interviews, and we will be following up on leads and working with Jasper Police and the Walker County District Attorney’s Office,” Tirey said.
Citing the ongoing investigation, Tirey said he could not release exactly when Joseph died.
Tirey also said he could not comment whether Joseph died at the site where the body was recovered, or at a second location.
Shooting reported in West Jasper
One person was shot near 22nd Street in west Jasper late Wednesday. The victim was taken by ambulance to an area hospital. Jasper police are investigating the incident.
More information will be released as it becomes available.
Anyone with information is asked to call JPD at 205-221-2121.