A family is still demanding answers nearly a year after their relative died in police custody and his body was reportedly given to them without his throat, heart, and brain.
Everett Palmer Jr., 44, was reportedly en route from Delaware to New York to visit his brother and sick mother when he called his brother and said he was stopping in Pennsylvania to resolve an outstanding DUI warrant from a 2016 incident and ensure his license wasn’t suspended. Two days after the call, Palmer’s family learned he died in police custody at the York County Prison, according to CNN.
One year. Today makes one year since you were taken from us. 365 days of unanswered questions, 52 weeks of sadness and…
An initial autopsy stated that Palmer was in an “excited state” when he “began hitting his head against the inside of his cell door” and had to be restrained. Business Insider reported that he was transported to a prison medical clinic, where he inexplicably became unresponsive. He was ultimately pronounced dead at York Hospital.
The autopsy report said Palmer’s behavior was caused by “methamphetamine toxicity” and listed a probable “sickling red cell disorder” as a contributing factor in his death.
On July 28, 2018, Palmer’s autopsy results were updated to reflect that his manner of death was “undetermined.”
Nearly a year later, his family told CNN that they still don’t know how the father of two died as his body was missing several organs when they received it. The family reportedly made the startling discovery after hiring an independent forensic pathologist to examine his body.
It also remains unclear how the Army veteran had meth in his system despite being in custody for two days.
Attorney Lee Merritt told the network, “It’s not unusual to take organs out of a body during an autopsy, especially if you believe they were subject to trauma.”
“The highly unusual part is to misplace them.”
News12 reported that Palmer’s body was also badly bruised when it was turned over to his relatives. Palmer’s brother alleged officials gave them the runaround after they inquired about the 44-year-old’s missing organs.
“They directed us back to our funeral director and told us that we need to confer with them because they probably took the organs,” he told News12.
York County authorities have weighed in on the matter in light of recent media attention. In a statement to the York Daily Record, York County Coroner Pam Gay denied allegations that Palmer’s organs were missing at any point when they had it.
The news outlet reported that Pennsylvania State Police is investigating. Gay said his manner of death could change if they receive new information.
“We’re doing our best, and I hope some day everyone will have a better understanding,” she said. “There’s only so much we can comment on during an ongoing investigation.”
[Featured image: Everett Palmer Jr./Facebook]