Couple find their dead son’s brain on display

Sunday, October 3, 2010

LONDON - A couple in the US who shocking discovered that their dead son’s brain was put up on display at a mortuary are suing the medical examiner, it was reported Sunday.

Andrew and Korisha Shipley’s 17-year-old son Jesse Shipley was killed in a car accident Jan 9, 2005.

The following day, an autopsy was performed. The teenager’s body was collected later that day and a burial and funeral service was held three days later.

However, without the knowledge of the Shipley’s, medical examiners retained the teenager’s brain for further study, the Daily Mail reported Sunday.

Two months later, Jesse’s classmates from Port Richmond High School went on a forensic science club field trip at the Staten Island mortuary.

The students then spotted a brain kept in a jar of formaldehyde.

In what a judge called “a surreal coincidence”, the “label on the jar indicated that the brain was that of Jesse Shipley”.

Shipley family lawyer Marvin Ben-Aron said: “A couple of the kids noticed it immediately, and the kids who knew him became really distraught.”

The students went back to the school and informed Jesse’s younger sister Shannon.

Ben-Aron said: “It was definitely very traumatic for the parents and for Shannon.”

The Shipleys demanded the brain back. Jesse’s body was disinterred and the Shipley’s had to endure another funeral service.

Five years later, a judge ruled that the Shipleys are entitled to sue the medical examiner.

Justice William F. Mastro said the medical examiner’s office should have advised the Shipleys that Jesse’s brain was being retained for further study.

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