Family Demands Answers After Army Veteran Dies in Jail With Missing Organs

By Li Yen, Epoch Times
June 11, 2019 Updated: June 19, 2019

After a United States army veteran by the name of Everett Palmer Jr. died in a Pennsylvania jail on April 9, 2018, his body was returned to his family without a brain, heart, and throat. However, 14 months later, his grieving family is still demanding an answer regarding his bizarre death.

On April 7, 2018, Dwayne Palmer received a phone call from his 41-year-old brother, Everett Palmer Jr.

In the phone call, Palmer, a father of two boys who once served as a U.S. Army paratrooper, told Dwayne that he would be traveling from Delaware to New York to visit him and their sick mother, Rose Palmer.

However, before he made his way to visit them, Palmer, a personal trainer in Delaware, mentioned he had to resolve an outstanding DUI warrant from an incident in 2016 in Pennsylvania so that his license would be valid for the drive.

Little did Dwayne know that was the last time he would hear from his older brother, an avid basketball fan who often worked out in the gym. Two days later on April 9, 2018, Dwayne and his family received a piece of shocking news. Palmer had died in police custody at York County Prison.

The autopsy report stated Palmer was pronounced dead at 5:46 a.m. in York Hospital. At first, the initial autopsy by York County Coroner’s Office told the family that Palmer “became agitated and began hitting his head against his cell door.”

However, his family was not convinced.

“My son was a perfectly healthy young man and my son is not going to bang his head on a cell,” grieving mom Rose Palmer said, as per Spectrum News. “My son was not a troublemaker, not at all, he was a very gentle, kind man. So, it’s nothing that he did in that prison that would warrant his death. He even looked maybe intimidating to some people, but he wasn’t, he was the sweetest young man.”

Jack Eble: Everett Palmer, Jr, 41, died in April while in custody at the York County Prison. While the cause and manner…

WPMT FOX43 စာစုတင်ရာတွင် အသုံးပြုမှု ၂၀၁၈၊ ဇူလိုင် ၂၃၊ တနင်္လာနေ့

Later, the autopsy report updated the cause of death as “complications following an excited state, associated with methamphetamine toxicity, during physical restraint,” Spectrum News reported.

It was said he became agitated due to “methamphetamine toxicity,” and “began hitting his head against the inside of his cell door,” and was then restrained. The report listed a probable “sickling red cell disorder” as a contributing factor.

Again, his family wasn’t convinced. Palmer never had any health issues prior to this incident leading up to his death. Also, it’s not Palmer’s character to hit himself, as described in the autopsy report.

Though Palmer had “some history of drug use,” he’d never had meth. Prison processing reports did not provide any indication that he was under the influence or had any drug paraphernalia listed in his items either.

Palmer’s body was subsequently returned to the family, who then hired their own forensic pathologist. Even more horrifying, their forensic pathologist found that Palmer’s body was missing his heart, brain, and throat. The pathologist also mentioned that his death should be labeled as a homicide, as per a report from The Daily Mail.

No Answers for Queens Family After Veteran Dies in PA Jail

A veteran — and Queens-native — went to address an old DUI warrant in Pennsylvania.Then, Everett Palmer, Jr.'s body was sent to his family, his brain, heart, and throat missing after he was jailed. His family is demanding answers.

Spectrum News NY1 စာစုတင်ရာတွင် အသုံးပြုမှု ၂၀၁၉၊ ဇွန် ၆၊ ကြာသပတေးနေ့

So, how was Palmer’s body without his heart, brain, and throat?

The family considered Palmer’s death suspicious. To get to the bottom of what went wrong on April 9, 2018, the family hired civil rights attorney Lee Merritt, who treated the case as “a cover-up.”

“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,” Merritt told CNN.

However, it still remains a mystery as to why the throat was removed for autopsies. “Makes no sense, unless you’re trying to maybe avoid people knowing how he died; which was maybe by asphyxiation,” said the family attorney, Marlon Kirton, of Manhattan.

For the next seven months, the family tried finding Palmer’s brain, heart, or throat, but it was all in vain. The York County Coroner asked the family to check with the funeral home for the missing body parts.

“When we reached out to find out what happened to his organs, they initially lied. They directed us back to our funeral director and told us that we need to confer with them because they probably took the organs,” Dwayne said.

“The funeral home says they hadn’t touched the body,” Merritt added.

Then, the family was told by the coroner that the body parts were at an independent lab. The lab, however, has declined to hand over parts, which will reveal much information about how he died, citing an ongoing investigation, according to Merritt.

His family are demanding answers

Daily Mail စာစုတင်ရာတွင် အသုံးပြုမှု ၂၀၁၉၊ ဇွန် ၇၊ သောကြာနေ့

In spite of the family’s claims, York County Coroner Pam Gay said in a press release: “At no time did we direct the family to the funeral home for ‘missing’ organs, and we did advise the family through their attorney at the time that the organs referenced, the heart, brain and throat, had been retained by FPA (Forensic Pathology Associates) for further investigation.”

“Forensic Pathology Associates (FPA) of Allentown, PA is currently in possession of the heart, brain and throat in accordance with the National Association of Medical Examiners (NAME) guidelines for Deaths in Custody during an ongoing investigation.”

Gay revealed the coroner’s office, FPA, and Palmer’s immediate family have been in regular discussions “either personally and/or through the family’s private legal counsel at the time, and arrangements were made with the family’s private forensic pathologist to go to FPA and visualize and examine the organs for himself.”

Family seeks answers in veteran's death while in police custody

The family of Everett Palmer Jr., a veteran who died in police custody, is looking for answers more than a year after his death. They said it was only after they hired a private pathologist that they found out his brain, throat and heart were missing.

CNN Replay စာစုတင်ရာတွင် အသုံးပြုမှု ၂၀၁၉၊ ဇွန် ၈၊ စနေနေ့

On July 28, 2018, the York County Coroner’s Office updated its autopsy results and amended Palmer’s manner of death as “undetermined.” The report adds details of the autopsy may be corrected as more information is gathered.

Even to today, nobody knows what happened to Palmer on that fateful day. There is still no official cause of Palmer’s death.

However, the Palmer family continues to find an answer to what really happened. “It’s a tremendous loss for our family. We are devastated,” Dwayne said.

“It’s been over a year and we want some answers. He was delivered back to us without organs. We want closure,” Dwayne added. “If something criminal happened, and I believe something criminal did happen, we want the people that was involved in that to be held accountable.”

“We know that there are good people in that prison system. We appeal to them to come forward and share what they know,” the brother concluded.