A man who died in the custody of Alabama’s corrections department was reportedly returned to his family without his organs, including his brain.
The news, which broke earlier this week, is the second recent case involving allegations of missing body parts from people in Alabama prisons. The US prison system has been widely criticized for its poor treatment of inmates.
Charles Edward Singleton, 74, who was housed at the state’s Hamilton Aged and Infirmed custody facility, died in November 2021, ABC 33/40 TV in Birmingham reported. Following Singleton’s death, the pathology department at the University of Alabama performed an autopsy on his body, according to a family member who spoke to the news station.
Singleton’s family requested his body be sent to a funeral home in Pell City, about two hours away. However, ABC 33/40 reported the funeral home’s director informed Singleton’s family that “it would be difficult to prepare his body for viewing” due to its “noticeable state of decomposition,” adding that there was “advanced skin slippage”.
Singleton’s family was informed that there were no organs in his body and that his brain had been removed, according to court filings reviewed by ABC 33/40. His family was also informed that organs are usually placed in a bag and put back inside bodies following autopsies.