A Georgia medical examiner has resigned after a funeral home later discovered stab wounds on victim Ray Anthony Neal.
What We Know:
- The 61-year-old was found dead in his home last Saturday by his sister, Michelle Smalls. According to the Washington Post, she had seen Neal the night before in a drunken state and told him to stay home. When she went to his apartment in Lawrenceville, Georgia she found him unconscious on his bedroom floor. Initially, she thought he was passed out — until she saw the pool of blood around him and all around the apartment as well.
- Investigator Shannon Byers examined the body once it arrived at the Gwinnett County Medical Examiner’s Office and took ONLY TEN MINUTES to examine and rule that Neal died of natural causes.
- She told Smalls that her brother’s “arteries burst and come through,” but despite Neal’s preexisting conditions (including formerly abusing crack as well as alcohol, high blood pressure, liver problems and Hepatitis C), this ruling did not explain the large amounts of blood.
- When the body was taken to the funeral home, a worker discovered the stab wounds on Neal’s neck and the family was contacted.
- “The gentleman noticed he had a hole,” Smalls said, “and I’m like, are you kidding me? You had one job to do and you failed at that.”
- The medical examiner’s office did a formal autopsy on Monday and Neal’s death was ruled a homicide. According to the Washington Post, officials said that because the investigator was told that Neal had medical conditions, she had chosen to “minimize exposure to pathogens that were potentially present at the scene.” As a result, she hadn’t noticed his injuries.
- Bynes has resigned and an investigation into the death has begun. Smalls believes that her brother knew his killer. “There were no signs of forced entry, no broken windows, everything was intact,” Smalls said. “So he knew who did this to him.”
Justice for Neal needs to come sooner rather than later.