GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. (FOX 5 Atlanta) - The investigator with the Gwinnett County Medical Examiners who misinterpreted the cause of death of a 61-year-old man earlier this week has resigned.
Gwinnett County Medical Examiner's Office Chief Investigator Eddie Reeves confirmed to FOX 5 News that Investigator Shannon Byers turned in her resignation on Wednesday.
Her resignation comes over the initial ruling in the death of Ray Neal. Neal’s sister said she found his body in the bedroom of a home in the 400 block of Lexington Drive in unincorporated Lawrenceville on Sunday afternoon after he hadn’t answered his phone. Michelle Smalls told FOX 5 News she saw large amounts of blood on the floor, the walls, even a shower curtain.
According to the police report, Byers examined Neal’s body and determined the cause of death to be natural. The report stated Byers released the body to Byrd and Flanagan Funeral home. But the report explained, once at the funeral home, an employee noticed a hole in Neal’s neck. That’s when the Neal’s body was returned to the morgue where a further autopsy determined he had been murdered, the medical examiner’s office confirmed to FOX 5 News.
Earlier this week, Reeves said medications being taken by Neal at the time of his death could have added to bleeding and confusion. He also said despite the mistake, the case was not compromised.
Reeves said Friday they are looking to fill the investigator's position.
Investigators are on the search to find who killed Ray Neal and why. The Gwinnett County Police Department urges anyone with knowledge in the murder of Ray Neal to call Gwinnett County detectives at 770-513-5300 or Crime Stoppers at 404-577-TIPS.