Slain Man Was Buried 19 Years Ago. His Family Just Learned Medical Examiner Allegedly Kept His Skull and Spine

The family of Cedric Wayne McFadden, 25, plans to file a lawsuit against the Lake County Medical Examiner's Office in Florida

<p>WKMG News 6 ClickOrlando/YouTube</p> Cedric Wayne McFadden plans to file a lawsuit against the Lake County ME

WKMG News 6 ClickOrlando/YouTube

Cedric Wayne McFadden plans to file a lawsuit against the Lake County ME's Office in Leesburg, Florida
  • Cedric Wayne McFadden was murdered in 2005, per reports

  • His body was so decomposed that his family did not get a chance to view him after the discovery, his sister says

  • The Medical Examiner's Office told McFadden's family they found his skull and part of his spine in a bin at the facility 19 years after his burial, the family alleges

A Florida man who was murdered 19 years ago was allegedly buried without his skull and spine — and those body parts were just discovered at the local medical examiner's office, his family claims in a lawsuit.

Cedric Wayne McFadden, who was reportedly murdered in 2005, was buried after the Lake County Medical Examiner’s Office released his body to a funeral home in Ocala, Fla., Click Orlando and FOX 35 reported, citing family members and their lawyer.

McFadden, 24, was murdered during a robbery by David M. Lee, who admitted to the murder and led police to his partially submerged body in a pond in Belleview, authorities said, the Ocala Star Banner reported at the time.

Nearly 20 years later, McFadden’s family members say they were notified by the Lake County ME’s office that his skull and part of his spine were found at the funeral home, according to the outlets.

The remains were found in a bin at the funeral home, Click Orlando reported, citing a press release from the attorney working with the family.

McFadden's body was so decomposed after he was found that his family was unable to determine that it was missing his skull and spine parts, his sister Jacqueline Forshee said at a press conference streamed by FOX 35.

“Unfortunately my brother’s body was too decomposed, the state of it was not viewable,” she said at the conference. “When they released his body, we assumed that it was released in all of it.” 

Nearly 20 years later, Forshee says she got a call from the Lake County ME’s office notifying her that McFadden’s skull and parts of his spine were just discovered on the premises, she said, per Click Orlando and FOX 35.

“She proceeded to tell me that unfortunately ... we did not bury all of my brother when we buried him 19 years ago,” Forshee said at the press conference, per the outlet.

Now, McFadden’s mother Ruthel Forbes plans to sue the ME’s office, Click Orlando and FOX 35 reported.

Ortavia Simon, who is representing Forbes, said this is the most “bizarre” case he has ever worked on.

“This is by far probably the most bizarre [case] that I've ever encountered in mortuary litigation,” he said at the press conference. “Never ever heard such a awkward story.”

In a recent post on social media, Simon wrote, “Twenty years before the medical examiner’s office realized they didn’t release all of my client’s son’s remains!”

Simon added, "They didn’t check a bin for 20 years?"

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McFadden’s sister says the family was re-traumatized after the news, especially when they had to bury him a second time.

“It was unreal,” Forshee said at the press conference. “It was a very traumatic experience because he was murdered, so that was hard within itself. Now we’re doing this all over again.”

It's not clear what led to the discovery of McFadden’s body parts after all these years and how long the ME’s office waited to notify the family.

Simon did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for further information.

The Lake County ME's office directed PEOPLE to the Marion County Attorney's Office when contacted on Wednesday.

Marion County Attorney Matthew Minter told PEOPLE a notice of claim has been filed against the ME's office, which gives the local government up to six months to investigate the claim before a lawsuit is filed.

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