An independent pathologist examining the newly exhumed body of Dexter Wade — the Mississippi man killed by police and buried in a pauper’s grave without his mother’s knowledge — found a wallet with a state identification card that included the address of the home he shared with his mother, the family’s lawyer said Thursday.
The pathologist, Frank Peretti, reported that he found the wallet in the front pocket of Wade’s jeans and that it contained his state identification card with his home address, along with a credit card and a health insurance card, attorney Ben Crump said in a statement.
Crump, who arranged for the independent autopsy, said he was sharing Peretti’s initial findings. NBC News has not seen the full autopsy report.
A representative of Crump’s confirmed that the home address was the same as his mother’s, Bettersten Wade. She reported him missing on March 14, nine days after he was struck by a police cruiser as he was crossing a highway.
She got no information from police about what happened to him until Aug. 27, when she learned that he’d been killed less than an hour after he had left his house and buried in a pauper’s field owned by Hinds County.
The Hinds County coroner’s office has said it confirmed Dexter Wade’s identity within a few days of his death and called a number listed for Bettersten Wade but did not hear back. Bettersten Wade said she has no recollection or record of such a call.
A coroner’s office investigator has reported that he also shared Dexter Wade’s information with police.
The findings about the ID in the wallet suggest that authorities knew all along where he lived, but there is no indication that authorities went to the address before burying Wade.
“The tragic news we received from the independent pathologist today was heartbreaking for everyone who knew and cared for Dexter Wade, especially his mother,” Crump said in his statement. “The fact that Dexter had a state identification card and several other identifying items shows us that there was a concerted effort to keep the truth and manner of his death from his family. There is no excuse, not even incompetence, for not notifying a next of kin of an identified man’s death.”