Medical Examiner's Office admits it can't find murder victim's remains

ATLANTA — The parents of man found dead say changes need to be made after his remains disappeared.

The Fulton County Medical Examiner's Office confirmed to Channel 2's Tom Jones that the remains got lost as they shipped them via FedEx.

They were supposed to go to St. Louis, but it appears they only got as far as a FedEx warehouse in Austell.

Now, no one can find them, and the parents of Jeffrey Merriweather can't understand how something like this can happen.

“I mean (there are) no words for this. I mean … how is he missing?” his father, Jeffrey Merriweather Sr., said.

His wife is just as upset.

“No family should have to go through what we are going through,” Kathleen Merriweather said

The Fulton County Medical Examiner's Office told Jones they received Jeffrey Merriweather Jr.’s remains after his body was found in June.


Before that, Merriweather was last seen in a Toyota 4 Runner as someone shot into the car on Virginia Avenue.

“Since he was partially skeletonized, we couldn’t determine a cause of death,” Fulton County Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Jan Gorniak said.

The chief medical examiner said her office sent the remains to a lab in St. Louis via FedEx, but the package never made it.

“From the tracking number, the last known location was Austell, Georgia,” Gorniak said.

FedEx told Jones they can't find the remains at that location.

"This don't make sense. How do you lose remains? How do you do that?" Jeffrey Merriweather Sr. said.
"Who do you blame in all this?" Jones asked Kathleen Merriweather.

“I kind of blame everybody because there should have been some type of protocol or process so this doesn't happen,” she said.

The medical examiner told Jones that her office is looking into new policies and procedures to prevent this from happening again.

“The grieving process is difficult as it is, and there's no need for us to add to that burden,” Gorniak said.

“At this point and time, all I want is what’s left of my son and put him to rest,” Jeffrey Merriweather Sr. said.

The Merriweather's said the ME's office insisted for weeks the remains were still in St. Louis.

The chief medical examiner said they were speaking with the wrong person, and that's something else that needs to change.

A FedEx representative told Jones their thoughts and prayers go out to the family, and they are working directly with the ME's office to resolve this.