A Mississippi mother spent months looking for her son only to find out that police were hiding the truth behind his death.
According to NBC News, Bettersten Wade discovered more than five months following the disappearance of her son, 37-year-old Dexter Wade, that he was fatally struck by a Jackson police car less than an hour after leaving home.
Police were aware of the mother and son's names but failed to contact her and let his body go unclaimed for months in a county morgue.
Bettersten said she last saw her son on March 5 when he left home with a friend around 7:30 p.m. After not hearing from him for days, the mother reported her son missing on March 14.
Bettersten kept in contact communication with police over the missing persons case. Each time she called, police said they had no information about her son's whereabouts.
However, police knew the entire time that Dexter was walking across Interstate 55, when an off-duty corporal hit him while driving a Jackson police SUV around 8 p.m. on March 5. The corporal alerted police of the incident and wasn't injured in the collision.
A Hinds County coroner's office investigator responded to the scene. No identification was found on Dexter but a prescription medication bottle, which led investigators to find his and his mother's names along with a phone number and address.
Investigator LaGrand Elliott said he gave the information to the Jackson Police Department so they could notify Bettersten of Dexter's death. Elliot said he followed up with Jackson police on the case for months, but authorities kept telling him that no kin had been located.
Since no one had claimed Dexter's body, Hinds County officials buried his remains at its penal farm among other unclaimed bodies on July 14. All the while, Bettersten was still searching for her son.
“They had me looking for him all that time, and they knew who he was,” Bettersten said.
It wasn't until August that the mother was told her son was dead by a new investigator brought onto his missing person's case. She was finally able to visit Dexter's grave on the Hinds County penal farm earlier this month.
“Dexter, I want to tell you I am so sorry,” Bettersten said at the grave site. “I’m so sorry this happened to you. But mama didn’t know. Mama didn’t know.”