In the heart of Mississippi, Bettersten Wade’s relentless search for her missing son, Dexter Wade, turned into a tragic and nightmarish ordeal.
A mother’s worst fears came true when she discovered that not only had her son been fatally struck by a police officer’s vehicle, but his death was concealed from her for seven agonizing months.
The story begins on March 5 when Bettersten last saw her 37-year-old son, Dexter. He left her house, never to return. As days passed without hearing from him, worry turned into dread. On March 14, Bettersten took the brave step of reporting him missing to the Jackson Police Department.
However, what should have been a mother’s plea for help turned into a painful journey of misinformation and heartache. Bettersten diligently cooperated with the police, providing photos of her son and requesting that his picture be shared on television. She called them regularly, seeking updates, but every time, the response was the same – “no information available,” which later proved to be untrue.
Tragically, Dexter’s life ended while crossing Interstate 55 on that fateful March evening. An off-duty police officer driving a Jackson police SUV struck him, leaving him fatally injured. Dexter, without identification but with a prescription pill bottle in his pocket, was taken to the county morgue.
The Hinds County coroner’s investigator, LaGrand Elliott, managed to verify Dexter’s identity and his next-of-kin by tracing the prescription bottle. Astonishingly, despite having this crucial information, the Jackson Police Department failed to contact Bettersten.
The chilling revelation of Dexter’s death shocked Bettersten, leaving her with countless questions. This was not her first encounter with the Jackson Police; her brother had met a tragic end in 2019 when a Jackson officer slammed him to the ground during an arrest. Although the officer was convicted of manslaughter, he is currently appealing the verdict.
Bettersten couldn’t help but wonder if her son’s death was somehow connected to her brother’s case and the allegations she made against the police. She expressed her concern, saying, “Maybe it was a vendetta. Maybe they buried my son to get back at me.”
The secrecy and hidden truths surrounding Dexter’s death have left his family devastated. He was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, and though he had his battles, he was known for his kindness in the neighborhood.
The shocking revelation of Dexter’s death has raised not only emotional but also logistical challenges for Bettersten. She is now determined to provide her son with a proper resting place, away from the pauper’s field where he was buried without her knowledge.
The tragic story of Dexter Wade serves as a stark reminder that transparency and accountability in law enforcement are not just legal principles but essential for the healing and trust of grieving families.