Alabama judge closes case of missing heart from deceased prisoner, mystery lingers on

Published 12:51 pm Thursday, April 25, 2024

An Alabama judge has closed a federal lawsuit involving the body of a deceased prisoner who was returned to his family without a heart.

The website reports that a U.S. District Judge for the Northern District of Alabama dismissed the case on Wednesday after the family and the state had reportedly “filed a joint stipulation of dismissal.”

The family of Alabama prisoner Brandon Clay Dotson filed the lawsuit in January after an autopsy was performed on Dotson’s body and then returned without a heart.

A private pathologist was hired to perform a second autopsy and discovered the body was missing a heart during his exam.

Dotson was found dead at Ventress Correctional Facility on November 16. Dotson’s family members sued the Alabama prison system, the Department of Forensic Sciences and UAB Medical Center.

No details were offered as to why the case was being closed. Dotson’s heart was never returned and how it ended up missing remains a mystery.