Bettersten Wade Robinson spent more than five months searching for her son Dexter Wade after he went missing only to find out that not only was he dead, but he had been hit by an off-duty Jackson, Mississippi police officer and buried in a pauper’s grave without her knowledge. Why the Jackson Police Department never told her they knew her son was dead despite her many calls, it’s still not clear. And yet, as bad as the situation was, Hinds County somehow managed to make things even worse.
Once Wade Robinson found her son’s grave, she requested to have the body exhumed so she and her family could hold a proper funeral and finally get some peace, ABC News reports. When they showed up at the agreed-upon time to begin the exhumation, however, they found nothing but an empty gravesite. His body had been exhumed hours earlier. Understandably, she is both upset and convinced that Hinds County did this intentionally:
“They put him in the ground without my permission. They dug him up without my permission,” an outraged Wade Robinson said as she stood near the empty gravesite outside the Raymond Detention Center on Monday morning.
“Now I asked, can I exhume my child and try to get some peace … now y’all take that from me,” a tearful Wade Robinson said… “I couldn’t even see him come out the ground. Yall didn’t give me the time to see him before he took his last breath. I didn’t get to see him come from the ground. Cover up!”
Attorney Ben Crump, who represents the family, provided proof to ABC News that the Hinds County Board of Supervisors had agreed to begin the exhumation at 11:30 a.m. that morning. So it’s hard to understand why he was instead exhumed at 8:00 a.m.
“Nobody got permission from the family to take Dexter out the ground in the early morning hours. It was an agreed upon position with the county that Ms. Bettersten Wade will be here at 11:30 to commence the exhumation of her son and they disrespected her,” Crump told reporters. “And like a thief in the night, they went and pulled the body out the ground.”
County Administrator Kenny Wayne Jones told WAPT that it was a “very unfortunate” incident but insisted there’s “no cover-up or anything like that. Just miscommunication.”
If that’s the case, we’re talking about a whole lot of miscommunication here. NBC News reports that after Wade’s body was exhumed, Crump says an independent pathologist found a wallet in the front pocket of Wade’s jeans that contained a state ID with his home address on it, as well as both a credit and a health insurance card. Assuming that’s true, it’s even harder to believe that officials didn’t know who Wade was or how to contact his family.
“How many mistakes you can have before you take responsibility,” Wade Robinson told ABC News. “Nobody has came to me and said that they are sorry.”
In news that we’re sure is completely unrelated to the current situation, as previously reported, this isn’t the first time the Wade family has had problems with Jackson police. Back in 2019, Wade Robinson’s 62-year-old brother died when a police officer “slammed him to the ground.” The officer was later convicted of manslaughter, and the Wade family has since filed a wrongful death suit against the city.