A body found hanging from a tree in Jackson is believed to be that of a Denham Springs man who seemingly committed suicide after escaping a work release program last month, according to authorities.

In a statement, the East Feliciana Parish Sheriff’s Office said authorities found a body hanging in a tree in a cemetery in Jackson, across from the civic center, on Oct. 2. East Feliciana Parish detectives and the coroner’s office joined Jackson police at the scene.

Through “preliminary investigation and evidence recovered at the scene,” authorities believe the deceased to be Matthew D. Walker, a 29-year-old man from Denham Springs.

“The investigators believe that the manner of death was suicide,” the East Feliciana Parish Sheriff’s Office.

Walker was a work-release inmate for West Feliciana Parish when, on Sept. 19, he walked off from his assigned work location at Jett’s in Jackson, according to the East Feliciana Parish Sheriff’s Office.

The Jett’s store is located less than a half-mile away from where authorities found the body believed to be Walker.

The investigation is ongoing, and a ruling on the “cause and manner of death,” as well as an official ruling on the identity of the body, will be determined by the East Feliciana Parish coroner, according to the sheriff’s office.

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