FedEx have apologized on Twitter for losing a human corpse three years ago.
In 2019, the partially-decomposed body of Jeffrey Merriweather was found underneath an inflatable mattress behind a house in southwest Atlanta, Georgia. The medical examiner wanted to send the body for extra testing, largely because they wanted to know how the body had decomposed so quickly. A few weeks earlier, 32-year-old Merriweather had been seen alive during a shooting in East Point, yet here his body was, nearly decomposed to the point that it was a skeleton. The family say that following the shooting, he did not contact them to let them know he was ok, nor talk to his daughters.
The office decided to send the body to a St. Louis lab via FedEx for $32.61, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. The package became lost, and three years on there is still no trace of it. Legally speaking, it should not have been sent via FedEx in the first place, as the U.S. Postal Service is the only postal service allowed to transport human remains. The family have been left with a mystery as to what happened, which in the absence of a body will likely never be answered.
Help may be on the way, however, in the form of the FedEx Twitter account. When the Atlanta Journal-Constitution tweeted out an article about the case late last week, a helpful social media manager – perhaps unfamiliar with the case – replied:
“I am truly sorry you went through this experience. Please send a direct message so I can continue assisting you. -Gaby.”
The tweet – which was not automated – was deleted soon afterward, but not before people had widely-shared screenshots in disbelief. One viral tweet shows the message having been translated into Jar Jar Binks, reading "mesa truly sorry yousa went through dis experience. Please senden a direct message so mesa can continue assisten yousa."
Following the incident, FedEx apologized for the mistake, and reiterated to Motherboard that the body should not have been sent in this manner.
“We removed several company responses to this tweet that were made in error. We apologize for the mistake and are committed to preventing this type of issue from occurring again," they told Motherboard. "Our thoughts and concerns continue to be with the family of Mr. Merriweather. We request that further questions be directed to the Fulton County Medical Examiner’s office. Shipments of this nature are prohibited within the FedEx network.”
A second followup message remains un-deleted.