Deundray Cottrell, left, and his partner, Julian Taylor Morris

Watch: Missing Male Partner a 'Person of Interest' in Disappearance, Death of Man in Alabama

Kilian Melloy READ TIME: 2 MIN.

The male partner of a man who disappeared and was later found dead has been named a "person of interest" by investigators, People Magazine reported. The partner himself has vanished in the wake of the man's death.

The body of 31-year-old Deundray Cottrell, a Ph.D. candidate who had been residing in Atlanta, "was found under 'suspicious' circumstances" two days after security cameras captured video of him "racing through yards and hopping gates" through a neighborhood in Birmingham, Alabama, as if he were being pursued, a report from USA Today detailed.

"Cottrell lived in Atlanta where he worked in marketing and was working toward his doctorate degree," reported. His body was found "in [a] Birmingham shed," the report added.

Cottrell and his partner, Julian Taylor Morris, 31, were visiting members of Cottrell's family for the July 4 holiday when Cottrell went missing, reports said. Cottrell's sister, Angelica Harris, said she last saw him on the evening of July 4, when he said he was going to see how his dog was doing with the noise from the fireworks.

In the course of searching for Cottrell, the family "did track down Ring camera footage at several homes that showed Cottrell running through yards, and even jumping over a gate," said.

"It looked like he was looking for refuge,'' Harris told the outlet. "He was running for his life."

After being alerted by Cottrell's concerned family members, police "began searching the area where Deundray had last been seen" on Friday, July 5, a press release from the Birmingham Police Department said.

"Officers recovered some of Deundray's clothing in the area," the release noted. Cottrell's body was discovered on Saturday, July 6, and his death was ruled "suspicious," the release said. A Facebook post from the department said that the Jefferson County Medical Examiners Office has ruled Cottrell's death a homicide.

The release further said that Morris is a "person of interest" in the case.

Cottrell's family "told they felt Morris was acting 'erratically' as they searched for Cottrell that night," USA Today relayed.

Cottrell's sister told Atlantia station WSBTV that Morris hung back from efforts to find Cottrell, enjoying a plate of food.

"The family told the outlet they saw Morris Friday morning," USA Today detailed, "but have not seen him since."

To watch the WSBTV news report, follow this link.

by Kilian Melloy , EDGE Staff Reporter

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Associate Arts Editor and Staff Contributor. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.

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