An independent autopsy is shedding new light on the death and burial of Dexter Wade. City and county officials have claimed Wade died without identification on him — making it tricky to track his family members.
Months after Hinds County, Mississippi, buried Dexter in a pauper’s grave, the family finally got word about his death. Then, county officials botched exhuming Wade’s body by doing so three hours before the scheduled time.
With more questions than answers about the handling of Dexter Wade’s death, his mother, Bettersten Wade, turned to Dr. Frank Peretti. The pathologist’s early findings seemingly poke holes in the story Hinds County officials and Missisissippi’s mayor are standing on.
In this week’s episode of TSR Investigates, Justin Carter shares details from Dr. Peretti’s initial report and why the family believes a cover-up is happening.
New Autopsy Report Shows Dexter Had A Wallet In His Pocket
According to the family’s attorney, Ben Crump, the county’s claims about lack of identification aren’t valid.
After Dexter Wade’s body was exhumed, the pathologist discovered “a wallet in the front pocket of his jeans.” The wallet reportedly had Dexter’s “state identification card with his home address, credit card, and a health insurance card.”
Additionally, it appears that Dexter Wade suffered more than the “severe head injuries” listed in the Hinds County coroner’s report. His left leg was amputated, and his body appeared to have been “completely run over by the police vehicle.” Additionally, he had “multiple blunt force injuries to the skull, ribs and pelvis.”
The body also had not been embalmed, which means it was in “an advanced state of decomposition” and was exhumed.
Meanwhile, the officer responsible for hitting Dexter Wade has not been charged in connection to his death. His death was also ruled accidental, despite severe head injuries. Local police also did not administer a field sobriety test or cite the driver, At this time, his identity also seems to be concealed from the public.
What Mississippi City & County Officials Have Said About Dexter Wade
As previously reported, Wade died on March 5 after an off-duty Jackson, Mississippi, officer struck and killed him while he was allegedly crossing a highway. Dexter allegedly died without identification on him. However, Hinds County Coroner’s Office investigator LaGrand Elliott reportedly discovered a prescription pill bottle in Wade’s pocket.
He contacted the prescribing doctor for a family contact, then passed the information to Jackson Police Department on March 9, per an NBC investigation. Days later on March 14, Dexter Wade’s mother reported him missing to the police. She was not told his body was already in the morgue.
This went on for months. Jackson Police investigators kept telling Bettersten they had no updates on Wade. Meanwhile, they were also telling the Hinds County Coroner’s Office they weren’t able to establish family contact. On July 14, the county moved forward with burying Wade in a pauper’s graveyard in plot No. 672.
Earlier this month, Mississippi Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba shut down the family’s suggestion of foul play. He said an internal investigation did not reveal any “police misconduct” or “malicious intent” in the handling of Dexter Wade. Instead, the mayor blamed the burial on a “lack of communication” between departments and inaccurate family contact information. NBC reports that Elliott from the coroner’s office reached out to Jackson Police at least four times between March and June.
Watch the full episode below to see what the City of Jackson told TSR about Dexter Wade.