This is one of those crazy “believe it or not” news stories.
Classmates of Jesse Shipley, a 17-year-old boy who was killed in a car accident in 2005, spotted his brain floating in a jar of formaldehyde while on a forensic science club field trip at the Staten Island Mortuary two months after his death. The jar was apparently in a cabinet but was labeled clearly with Jesse’s name.
Word traveled quickly back at Port Richmond High School to Jesse’s younger sister Shannon, then 15, who was a victim in the same car accident that killed her older brother. Her parents were called to pick her up from school because she was so upset.
Now Jesse and Shannon’s parents Andrew and Korisha Shipley are suing the medical examiner for emotional distress. Five years after the fact, Justice William F. Mastro has determined that the family should have been told that their son’s brain was being retained for later study. Yes, such a simple thing.
The family was, instead, under the assumption that their son’s body was intact at burial.