York County Coroner on prison death: Palmer's organs never 'missing'

Staff report

York County Coroner Pam Gay released the following statement Friday in response to national media coverage of a Delaware man’s death last year while in custody at the York County Prison:

"In regards to recent statements in the media, we are releasing a brief statement regarding the Everett Palmer, Jr. investigation:

"From the beginning of this investigation, appropriate chain of custody was maintained of the remains of Everett Palmer, Jr. DOB 01/14/1977 and DOD 4/9/2018; at no time were the remains "missing"; 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.

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"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.

"The coroner's office, FPA and Mr. Palmer's immediate family have been in regular discussions since shortly after Everett Palmer Jr.'s death, 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. That examination was conducted after FPA's final autopsy findings were released to the family.

"Along with this statement, we will be re-releasing the final press release (as released originally to the public on 7/28/2018), identifying the cause and manner of death, as determined by FPA and this office.

"As this is still an ongoing investigation, no further information will be released at this time."

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