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Kentucky coroner left man’s body in hot SUV overnight, causing staff, visitors to vomit from ‘putrid’ smell: suit

A Kentucky coroner has found that a deceased man was left in a hot SUV overnight to fester and his body was so decomposed that funeral attendees were sickened by a “pungent, putrid” odor six days later. He resigned in the wake of a controversial lawsuit.

Morgan County Coroner Raymond Vancleave is accused of storing Nathan Payton’s body in a sealed black body bag on a hot December day in 2022 instead of moving it to a freezer. According to the lawsuit obtained by Law & Crime Network.the man’s estate filed in Morgan Circuit Court on Tuesday.

Basil Payton, the executor of Nathan Payton’s estate, said his “fun-loving” brother was found dead after going to his home to check on him on December 30, 2022. He said the body was in “good condition”.

“I called 9-1-1 and it starts from there. It’s a nightmare,” Payton said. WKTY.

Vancleave was tasked with collecting Nathan’s body that day, but when the body arrived at the funeral home a few days later, a major “problem” became apparent.


Raymond Vancleave is accused of leaving Nathan Payton’s body in his SUV overnight, allowing it to rapidly decompose.
WKYT

Basil Peyton is suing VanCleave and six other Morgan County, Kentucky, officials, alleging that her brother's body was mishandled and left to decompose.
Basil Peyton is suing VanCleave and six other Morgan County, Kentucky, officials, alleging that her brother’s body was mishandled and left to decompose.
WKYT

“Nathan Dean Payton’s body was severely decomposed due to mishandling by then-Morgan County Coroner Raymond VanCleve, and the odor emanating from the body bag was pungent and decomposing,” the lawsuit states. claims.

After the body was removed from the residence, it remained in Vancleave’s SUV for more than a day, police said.

The suit says the coroner’s “privileges” had been suspended for failing to “retrieve the body” in a timely manner before storing Nathan’s body in his vehicle overnight, allowing him to store the body at a local facility. He said he couldn’t do it.


Nathan Payton's body was allegedly mishandled by VanCleve after it was left in the coroner's SUV and not stored in a freezer after being picked up.
Nathan Payton’s body was allegedly mishandled by Vancleave after it was left in the coroner’s SUV and not stored in a freezer after being picked up.
WKYT

The suit states that the body “rapidly decomposed” in VanCleve’s car by the time VanCleve brought it to the medical examiner’s office the next day for “an autopsy not requested by the family.” There is.

The coroner allegedly noted that the body was “moderately decomposed,” but the lawsuit reveals that is far from the truth.

Peyton’s brother’s body had been left in a corner and was badly decomposed, and the family “recklessly and negligently” buried Nathan in a closed casket “in a body bag”. was forced to say “goodbye” to Disposing of his body. ”


Payton is seeking unspecified damages for mishandling her brother's body.
Peyton is seeking unspecified damages for mishandling Nathan’s body.
WKYT

The “foul and pungent odor” emanating from Nathan’s sealed coffin was so strong that family, friends and “funeral home staff” were vomiting six days after his death, and the smell “made me feel sick.” It got worse,” the complaint said.

“People were actually made sick by the smell coming from the coffin,” he said. WKTY.

According to the complaint, Vancleave resigned from his position as coroner after being informed that Payton had filed the complaint.

“We don’t hold them to the same high standards as a sheriff or governor,” Payton said.

“But they can impact your life more than you can imagine.”

In addition to Vancleave, six other Morgan County employees are named in the lawsuit, including former Morgan County Judge and Executive Officer John Stacy.

Peyton is seeking unspecified damages for mishandling her brother’s body.

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