Autopsy Reveals Organs Gone; Body Stuffed With Bed Sheets

A Mississippi man is exhumed and autopsy reveals his organs stolen and he’s stuffed with bed sheets

(Memphis 05/04/2009) – A family’s quest to go beyond the grave for answers leads to an even bigger mystery. It’s been a year and a half since 58 year old Frank Alexander died of what officials said was heart failure. However, his family and detectives still have questions about what happened to him. They exhumed his body in hopes of finding answers but what they found shocked them and detectives working on the case. His body organs were missing and he was stuffed with bed sheets.

“We are far away from closure. It’s just getting worse instead of better,” said Robert Alexander, brother of the deceased.

Robert Alexander paid to have his brother’s body exhumed and autopsied again because he believed Frank had been poisoned by his girlfriend who he’d met just months before. Records show somebody was spending his money after he died. The brother wasn’t prepared for what the autopsy revealed.

“They had bed sheets stuffed inside a plastic bag, stuffed inside of his cavity wall,” said Alexander.

The second autopsy revealed his brother’s organs were missing and his body stuff with bed sheets.

Alexander added, “We weren’t able to come up with enough evidence from the body because some of the major body organs had been removed from the body and were not available for the autopsy examination.”

Who would remove the organs and why? We attempted to find the answer by following the path of Alexander’s body. He died in his home in Red Banks, Ms where he lived with his girlfriend. Immediatedly after his death, she had his body transported to Harrison’s Funeral Home, Orange Mound Chapel where she works. Bank records show two $5,000 payments were made from the deceased’s bank account to Harrison’s funeral home. Despite the body almost immediately being transferred to N.J. Ford and Sons Funeral Home once it arrived in Memphis. The body was transported to Jackson, MS for an autopsy. Dr. Steven Hayne performed the autopsy. He also performed the second one after Alexander was exhumed. It is Hayne who documented that organs were missing and the body stuffed with bed sheets.

Ford funeral home operators and Harrison’s Orange Mound Funeral Home say they had no idea Alexander’s organs were missing until we told them. They say there would be no reason to remove them.

We called Robert Gribble, TN Board of Funeral Directors and Embalmers, he said it would be unethical for any funeral home to remove organs.

He said, “Have you interviewed the medical, pathologist that did the autopsy?”

Gribble added,”That’s who I would be talking to, to make sure there were no organs there.”

Our phone calls to Dr. Steven Hayne, the pathologist who performed both autopsies, were not returned. However, we discovered a move to revoke Hayne’s license to practice medicine in Mississippi. Hayne has been under scrutiny from the Innocence Project after two of their clients murder convictions were overturned. In those cases, Innocence Project co-director Peter Neufeld said Haynes had “questionable practices” and for 20 years Mississippi death investigations have been tainted by his “misconduct and shoddy work”.

“I told you I had run out of tears the last time I talked to you. After I found this out, I had to shed some more tears. Why and who? Who’s responsible for taking his organs out,” said Alexander.

The growing mystery is also frustrating detectives.

“We were hoping we could at least find something that could give some closure to the family. That’s our main objective was to give closure to the family,” said McMillen.

But instead of the mystery ending, it broadens.

Alexander said, “Lies have been told. And, we want the truth. We want some satisfaction and so far we haven’t got any”.

After News Channel 3 started asking questions, an agent with the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation is now looking into the case. He says he will collaborate with the Marshall County Sheriff’s Office to see where the case goes from here.

It’s important to point out a lot of questions remain. The girlfriend has not been charged. She declined our request for an interview.

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