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Body of Murdered 8-Year-Old Autistic Boy Waits in Morgue As Family Feuds

By Nicole Bode | February 12, 2010 5:18pm | Updated on February 15, 2010 6:16am
Members of the Medical Examiners Office arrive at the Peninsula Hotel Friday, Feb. 5, 2010 to collect Jude Mirra's body the first time.
Members of the Medical Examiners Office arrive at the Peninsula Hotel Friday, Feb. 5, 2010 to collect Jude Mirra's body the first time.
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AP Photo/Mary Altaffer

By Nicole Bode

DNAinfo Associate Editor

MANHATTAN — The body of 8-year-old Jude Michael Mirra lies in a refrigerated room in the city morgue, zipped inside a tagged body bag, atop a three-tiered gurney.

It is his second visit here.

The first time, Jude languished there unclaimed from the time he was allegedly drugged to death by his mother in a Fifth Avenue hotel until his biological father made the heartbreaking pilgrimage from California four days later to verify the boy was his son.

The tragedy of the way Jude’s body is being treated is matched only by the chilling way in which he was allegedly murdered by his own mother, Gigi Jordan.

Jordan, a 49-year-old multimillionaire pharmaceutical executive, dragged the boy across the country during his short life in search of a cure for his severe autism, friends said.

She withdrew from friends and family and spent the last days of her life allegedly holed up in the five-star Peninsula Hotel in Midtown, feeding an overdose of prescription pills to her trusting child.

Police found Jude’s lifeless body on the bed of the hotel room on Feb. 5, his mother unconscious on the floor beside him.

The mother was rushed to the hospital, and remains hospitalized as she waits to be arraigned on criminal charges.

The child was delivered to the morgue.

Workers from the Frank E. Campbell Funeral Home on the Upper East Side picked up Jude's body on Tuesday, the Medical Examiner’s office said.

The next day, Jude’s body was recalled to the Medical Examiner’s office after a feud erupted between the boy's father and maternal grandmother, according to news reports. The Medical Examiner's office is required to retain a body until a family agrees on funeral arrangements.

“It’s not uncommon for this to happen," said Ellen Borakove, spokeswoman for the city’s Office of Chief Medical Examiner. "Sometimes families have disputes over where they want the body to be buried.”

“Now that we know that there’s a dispute, we’re just in a holding position. We don’t make a decision on who has legal standing. That’s not our place,” Borakove added.

Now the boy lies in a bag in one of four rooms in the Kips Bay morgue, the air temperature hovering between 32 and 40 degrees, surrounded by other corpses.

So Jude's body waits for an end to the rift between his maternal grandmother – who friends said was estranged from the boy’s mother for years – and his biological father, who has no legal standing over his son since reportedly giving up custody rights years ago.