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Civil rights attorney Lee Merritt is demanding answers in the mysterious death of a Black father and Army vet who sought to settle an old DUI warrant.
Merritt and the family have questions about how the man’s body was returned to the family missing vital organs and his throat.
Everett Palmer’s family has been fighting to get answers for the past two years after he drove to Lancaster County from New York to deal with a DUI warrant in 2016. But after being stonewalled by authorities, the Palmer family secured Merritt to press York County officials on how their son ended up dead in two days and why his brain, heart and throat were missing.
On Tuesday, the father of two’s mother Rose Palmer said during a press conference at the Maranatha Baptist Church in Queens Village, that she believes foul play played a factor.
“I think he was murdered. I think he was murdered.”
However, despite Palmer’s unexplained absence of his organs, York County officials contend that his missing organs doesn’t mean there was foul play, The NY Daily News reports.
“At no time were the remains ‘missing,’” York County Coroner Pamela Gay said in a statement Friday. “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.”
Gay claims Palmer died after he become agitated and banged his head repeatedly against a cell door in the York County Prison.
But Merritt said officials have dragged their feet on getting information to the family on Palmer’s exact cause of death and what happened to his organs.
“After 14 months, there has been no explanation to what happened to Everett Palmer,” Merritt told reporters. “The information that we’ve been receiving, in a very piecemeal style, tells us that Everett Palmer was Tased, restrained, and outside factors; other persons involved in causing his death.”
“Most of the information in a recorded facility is available via video,” Merritt said. “There is no reason that there should be an absence of a narrative like we have here, 14 months later.”
In October 2018, the family learned by the pathologist that they hired that Palmer’s brain, heart and throat were missing.
“They made inquiries, they weren’t given straight answers,” Merritt said. “They later changed that and said the vital organs were in private facilities, We still have not had an opportunity to turn in the organs they say they do have for DNA testing.”
Gay said since the story broke which coincided with the anniversary of Palmer’s death, she e (had) the stature of a giant, but he had the heart and temperament of a teddy bear,” his brother Troy Palmer said. “We referred to him as a gentle giant.”