‘We did not bury all of my brother’: Sister says murdered man’s skull and spine found in a bin at medical examiner’s office nearly 20 years later

Cedric McFadden’s sister Jacqueline Forshee, in green shirt, speaks to the media as his mother Ruthel Forbes, in red shirt, holds up a picture. A medical examiner’s office recently found his skull nearly 20 years after his murder. (Fox 35)....CONTINUE READING THE ARTICLE FROM THE SOURCE

The family of a man who had been murdered nearly 20 years ago in Florida received a startling call in February from the medical examiner’s office that conducted the autopsy. The office said it had found Cedric McFadden’s skull and part of his spine in a bin in the Lake County Medical Examiner building, his family told reporters at a Monday press conference . Now McFadden’s family has filed a notice about its intent to sue the medical examiner.

As the Ocala Star-Banner reported at the time, David Lee, now 41, shot McFadden, 24, to death near Ocala during a robbery and dumped the body in a pond behind Lee’s house. Authorities recovered McFadden’s badly decomposed body in the pond and later arrested and convicted Lee for murder . The medical examiner’s office performed the autopsy and released the body to a funeral home. Because of the state of his body, his sister said the family did not have a viewing. They had his funeral and buried what they thought was his intact body.
But that wasn’t the case. A representative from the ME’s office called on Feb. 11. His sister Jacqueline Forshee said the woman requested to speak to McFadden’s mother.

“She proceeded to tell me that, unfortunately, she had to tell us that we did not bury all of my brother when we buried him 19 years ago,” Forshee said.

Attorney Ortavia Simon, who specializes in mortuary law and is representing the family in the case, filed an intent to file a lawsuit, claiming the medical examiner’s office failed basic care for McFadden and keep his body intact. Simon also says the ME failed to keep proper records and follow policies and procedures per state law.

Simon called the incident a “travesty.”

“From my experience with these cases, this is probably by far the most bizarre that I’ve ever encountered in mortuary litigation,” Simon said.

It’s not clear how the medical examiner stumbled upon the body parts. A spokeswoman told Law&Crime that at the time of McFadden’s death the Lake County Medical Examiner had yet to provide services for Marion County, which is where the murder occurred. She referred all comment to Marion County Attorney Matthew Minter, who could not immediately be reached.

McFadden’s family had a second funeral, and buried the skull and spine in a box next to his casket.

“It was unreal, to be honest with you. It was unreal,” Forshee said. “It was a very traumatic experience because he was murdered. So that was hard within itself. So now we’re doing this all over again.”

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