WAYNE COUNTY, Mich. – The manhunt for an accused murderer came to an end only after police discovered the suspect had been in the Wayne County morgue for two months.
The Wayne County Medical Examiners Office didn’t check the suspect’s fingerprints and said that it’s not their responsibility. Other experts who weighed in are saying that it is the examiner’s job to identify bodies and that a big mistake was made in this case.
The story starts with the investigation into the murder of a 40-year-old man in Farmington Hills. Police said the victim, Dejuan White, identified his lifelong friend as the shooter before he died from his injuries. Police said Kevin Curtis Moore, 43, of Detroit, was a suspect in the shooting.
“About 4:30 this morning I heard a big bang, I yelled out his name, I reached out. He wasn’t there. I yelled out his name, and that’s when he said, ‘Call the police,’ Someone had shot him,” White’s fiancée, Veronica Flowers, said.
Flowers said she saw White on the floor and that the front door shattered. Police said their investigation led them to believe that the gunman shot his girlfriend in Detroit and then went to Farmington Hills to shoot and kill White.
“You are going to get caught. You can come in and surrender. Or we are going to have to find you,” U.S. Marshal Aaron Garcia said during the manhunt for Moore.
Sources told Local 4 that countless manhours and taxpayer money went into the search for Moore. The Local 4 Defenders learned that U.S. Marshalls searched Michigan and traveled to Kentucky and Mississippi to track the accused killer down.
Those searching for Moore were unaware that Moore’s body was sitting inside the Wayne County morgue. His body was transported to the morgue there just hours after White’s murder. His body was recovered from the Detroit River and believed to have been death by suicide.
Moore was a convicted felon and had a criminal record. If the medical examiner had checked, fingerprints would have revealed his identity. A statement from Michigan Medicine said that morgue employees do not do fingerprinting. Michigan Medicine gets paid $31 million to run the morgue.
Dr. Ljubisa J. Dragovic is the Chief Medical Examiner at the Oakland County Medical Examiner’s Office. Dragovic said while it is common sense to check fingerprints if you can’t identify a body, it is not a common commodity.
Dragovic said it is the duty of the medical examiner to positively identify any victims that come into the morgue under their jurisdiction. Dragovic said while it’s not specified, if you can’t identify a body then fingerprints should be checked as part of due diligence.
This issues at the Wayne County morgue have others wondering what else has been missed. Police sources have told Local 4 that they are considering going to the morgue to look for bodies connected with some of their unsolved cases.