MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Mayor Jim Strickland called for an immediate investigation after a van that was in the Memphis Police Department’s impound lot was found to have a body inside.
Police didn't find it for 49 days.
"It's not acceptable at all," the mayor said.
Mayor Strickland says he is sad for the victim's family and admits the Memphis Police Department messed up.
"That was a violation, a clear violation of policy, and I await the investigation and look forward to the director holding whatever parties responsible, accountable," he said.
MPD is supposed to search and take inventory of every vehicle it takes custody of. "That obviously was not done here," the mayor said.
As bad as the incident was, Mayor Strickland doesn't think a third party like TBI needs to come in to investigate.
Instead, he thinks it's better for MPD to investigate itself.
"I have full faith in the men and women of the Memphis Police Department to investigate this and determine what happened. Let's see how the investigation goes," Mayor Strickland said.
He also says his faith in Police Director Michael Rallings is still "very high, very high."
Another question on people's minds is would the victim still be alive had police found him right away? If so, will criminal charges come into play?
"That's a legal matter, and I'll just have to wait until the investigation goes forward," he said.
The impound lot was put under MPD's control several years ago, before Mayor Strickland's time in office.
WREG asked the mayor if it should stay that way.
"I've actually thought about that. Let's see this investigation, let's see how it goes," he said. "It's too early to ask that question."