Former Medical Examiner Arrested for Allegedly Keeping Human Body Parts in Self-Storage Facility

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law

A former medical examiner, who is accused of keeping the body parts of more than 100 people in his Pensacola storage facility, was arrested September 7, 2012. He now faces a felony charge of improper storage of hazardous waste, a misdemeanor charge of “nuisance injurious to public health” and driving with a suspended license, according to a number of sources.

To see the case against the former medical examiner, click here.

It is reported that he had previously been fired as a medical examiner in Jackson County, Missouri. His medical license was allegedly revoked in Missouri. A check of the Florida Department of Health (DOH) licensing website lists his license as null and void. To see his license verification, click here. He could also have some serious points added to his driving license, making his auto insurance premiums go up (if convicted of the traffic offense).


Gruesome Discovery in Storage Facility.

According to an article in the Pensacola News Journal, the former medical examiner rented the self-storage unit for about three years. On August 22, 2012, he defaulted on his payments, and the unit was auctioned off.

When the storage facility was auctioned off, the new purchaser allegedly discovered 10 cardboard boxes containing human remains stored in a liquid. Garbage bags containing human remains packaged in soda cups and plastic food containers were also found.

This is one auction I doubt you are going to see on “Auction Hunters” or “Storage Wars” on television.

According to a related Associated Press article, the District 1 Medical Examiner’s Office in Pensacola said that the remains appear to have come from private autopsies that were performed between 1997 and 2007 at funeral homes in the Florida Panhandle and in Tallahassee. Allegedly 111 containers filled with body parts, including hearts, brains, a liver, and a lung were found.

Although there were lots of brains found, there were no “Abbie Normal” brains reportedly found.

For a related story regarding zombie outbreaks in Florida and the Florida Legislature’s effort to control them by banning bath salts, click here.


Former Medical Examiner Reportedly had a Troubled Past.

The former medical examiner reportedly worked at the District 1 Medical Examiner’s Office in Pensacola from 1997 to 2003. He was fired for allegedly having a large backlog of cases and failing to complete autopsy reports in a timely manner.


More Charges Could Be Coming.

Right now, the former medical examiner faces a felony charge of improper storage of hazardous waste, a misdemeanor charge of “nuisance injurious to public health” and driving with a suspended license. These charges alone could land him in prison for more than five years. 

The District 1 Medical Examiner’s Office in Pensacola is contacting all the family members of the decedents whose body parts were found. If the family did not give permission to the former doctor, more charges could be coming. Exactly how these body parts are being identified has not been made clear.

Click here to read the entire Pensacola News Journal article.


Contact Health Law Attorneys Experienced with Investigations of Health Professionals and Providers.

The attorneys of The Health Law Firm provide legal representation to physicians, nurses, nurse practitioners, CRNAs, dentists, pharmacists, psychologists and other health providers in Department of Health (DOH) investigations, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) investigations, FBI investigations, license complaints, administrative hearings, business and commercial litigation, and other types of investigations of health professionals and providers.

To contact The Health Law Firm, please call (407) 331-6620 or (850) 439-1001 and visit our website at www.TheHealthLawFirm.com.


Sources:

Heisig, Eric. “Charges Filed Against Doctor in Body Parts Cases.” Pensacola News Journal. (September 9, 2012). From: http://www.pnj.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2012309080010

Associated Press. “Ex-Medical Examiner Charged After Human Organs Found in Storage Unit.” Associated Press (September 8, 2012). From: http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/2012-09-08/news/os-human-organs-storage-unit-florida-20120908_1_human-organs-storage-unit-medical-examiner


About the Author: George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., is Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law.  He is the President and Managing Partner of The Health Law Firm, which has a national practice.  Its main office is in the Orlando, Florida, area.  www.TheHealthLawFirm.com  The Health Law Firm, 1101 Douglas Ave., Altamonte Springs, FL 32714, Phone:  (407) 331-6620.


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9/11/2012

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