YORK COUNTY, Pa. (WHTM) — York County Coroner Pam Gay said the coroner’s office has begun the process of returning the organs of Everett Palmer, Jr., to his family, now that a grand jury has finalized its work on the April 2018 death of the 41-year-old man at York County Prison, where he was being held on $5,000 bond after a DUI arrest.
“We are working on that process,” Gay said Wednesday, regarding the return of the organs.
On Tuesday, District Attorney David Sunday announced no charges would result from Palmer’s 2018 death at York County Prison. The grand jury had looked into whether officials and corrections officers acted improperly in the death of Palmer, who was a father of two and who had been a paratrooper.
Palmer died after officers forced him out of a cell while he was having what they said they believed was a mental health-related episode. The coroner’s office said methamphetamine had been in his system, which Sunday, characterizing the grand jury report, said Palmer likely ingested 60 to 70 hours before his death, which took place two days after he arrived at the prison.
The grand jury made 24 recommendations for procedural changes to prevent a future death in similar circumstances but found no one involved acted improperly, working within the system as it existed.
In 2019, Palmer’s family questioned the whereabouts of his organs, suggesting they were missing. Gay said that wasn’t true, and The New York Times reported then that she told the newspaper Palmer’s “organs would be released to the family once the inquiry is over.”
Answering questions Tuesday following a press conference announcing the grand jury’s findings, Sunday said Gay’s office did nothing wrong.
“There was absolutely nothing in this case that was contrary to standard protocol with regard to organs during autopsy, after autopsy and during continued analysis by additional experts,” Sunday said.