The body found in a shallow grave in Raleigh County last week is that of a Charleston man who went missing in September, authorities confirmed Tuesday.
The remains, which were found along Old Turnpike Road near Beckley Oct. 30, are that of 28-year-old Kareem Hunter, Kanawha Sheriff's Cpl. Brian Humphreys said.
Kanawha and Raleigh investigators had the body exhumed on Oct. 31 and taken to the office of the Chief Medical Examiner for an autopsy and identification.
Linda Hunter, Kareem's mother, was driving back to her Hampton, Va., home last week and was an hour away when she got the call from the sheriff's department.
"I'm happy that they found his body, real happy about that," Hunter said from her Virginia home Tuesday evening. "Now we can lay him to rest properly."
The family held a memorial service for Kareem in New York Oct. 22. They are in the process of planning a West Virginia funeral.
"Even with the memorial service we had for him, it was still like, it was OK, but it wasn't like it should have been because I still had no idea where he was," Hunter said.
"It was just crazy, knowing he was out there somewhere, not having any idea when they would find him or if they would ever find him."
Humphreys said "scavengers" discovered the body while searching the property around an abandoned house on Old Turnpike Road.
Rain had washed away some dirt, leaving the body exposed to the elements, Raleigh Sheriff Steve Tanner said last week. The remains matched Kareem's description.
Kareem was last seen Sept. 23 but the murder investigation didn't officially begin until Oct. 2 when investigators found what appeared to be a violent crime scene at the Marmet apartment of Kelsey Legg, a former friend of the Hunter family.
Legg was arrested Oct. 5 and charged with his murder and kidnapping. Investigators believe Legg lured Kareem to the apartment intending to kidnap him, but instead he was murdered.