Families Devastated As Bodies Returned With Missing Organs

A federal complaint claims that when the remains of two individuals who passed away while in the custody of the Alabama, jail system were delivered to their families, they were found to be devoid of hearts or other organs.

After receiving Brandon Clay Dotson’s deteriorating corpse with a missing heart, his family took legal action last month by suing the Alabama Department of Corrections and others in a federal court. Dotson passed away in a state prison in November.

The daughter of another death row convict, Charles Edward Singleton, said in a court document this week that upon repatriation of her father’s corpse in 2021, it was found to be devoid of any internal organs.

In an email received on Wednesday, Lauren Faraino, representing the Dotson family, said that this is “definitely part of a pattern” based on the experiences of other families.

At Ventress Correctional Facility, the body of 43-year-old Dotson was discovered on November 16. The family allegedly hired a pathologist to do a second autopsy after discovering his heart was gone, leading them to suspect foul play in his death, as stated in the complaint. In their pursuit of justice, his loved ones went to court to demand an explanation for the removal of his heart and its subsequent return.

Last Monday, Dotson’s family submitted court paperwork that addressed the circumstances around Singleton’s remains. A funeral home informed the inmate’s daughter, Charlene Drake, that her father’s corpse was handed to them “with no inside organs” when he died in prison in 2021, according to the papers.

“Typically, the organs are in a bag and put back in the corpse after an autopsy. However, Charles was delivered to the funeral home without any internal organs,” the funeral director informed her.

Dotson was the subject of a hearing last week before a federal court. The location of the heart remains a mystery.