Questions surround a Nashville man's death as he's laid to rest


NASHVILLE, TN (WZTV) -- A Nashville autistic man, who died two months ago, is finally laid to rest Saturday.

Earlier this week, detectives found the murdered body of James Thomas, after he was reported missing January 15th.

While Metro police work to find the person who killed James, his family and friends are remembering the guy who they say would never hurt anyone.

James Thomas' friends and family wanted to give him a sendoff as special as he was.

Ask those close to the 38-year-old what they remember about the guy, they'll tell you two things: he loved his scooter, and he had a heart of gold.

“He was one of the kindest souls you'd ever meet, he wouldn't hurt a fly,” explains Toby Daniel, a close family friend.

That's why his loved ones were sickened to hear that a man with such a generous spirit had his life taken too soon.

“It’s like we were searching for him, and searching for him, and we kept our minds occupied and all of a sudden it hit us in the face. This is reality, this is what's happening,” says Thomas’ sister, Samantha Hamilton.

But Saturday morning, they did something they knew would have James grinning from above.

More than 100 motorcycles escorted him to the cemetery for one last ride.

“James is probably giving heaven hell right now, Jesus is probably chasing him all over the place right now,” explains Joshua Hogan, of the reaction his brother would have to the turnout.

Many of the people who came together to say bye to James have been gathering for weeks to find him.

“Nights, days, riverbanks, rain, we were out there every night looking until 2:00 or 3:00 in the morning, kicking rocks, kicking dirt. Whatever we could do, you name it,” says Hogan.

As that search came to an end last week, a new search begins, for whomever is responsible for killing James.

Metro Police say it’s following up on strong leads to find a suspect in Thomas' murder.

If you have any information that might help, you're asked to give them a call.

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