Ex-Medical Examiner Charged After Organs Found in Storage Unit

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

PENSACOLA, Florida -- September 8, 2012

A former medical examiner has been arrested on charges of keeping human remains in a rented storage unit in the Florida Panhandle.

Dr. Michael Berkland was arrested Friday on charges of improper storage of hazardous waste, keeping a public nuisance and driving with a suspended license. He was released from jail on $10,000 bail.

Berkland's attorney says he'll start preparing his defense next week.

More than 100 crudely preserved brains, hearts and lungs were discovered in a Pensacola storage unit last month. Authorities say the organs were kept in soda cups and plastic food containers.

The director of the medical examiner's office in Pensacola says about 10 families have been notified that their relatives' remains were in the unit. Berkland worked at the medical examiner's office from 1997 to 2003.


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