Magistrate conducts inquest into deaths of two North American visitors, last week, and adjourns it without date

The inquest into the deaths of two North American tourists was recently held and has been adjourned sine die (without a date).

Coroner N’gaio Emanuel-Edwards conducted the inquiry related to the death of 42-year-old Ian Glenn Wilford of Canada, a guest staying at Jolly Harbour, and 89-year-old John Mizsak of the United States.

The inquest reportedly was held at Barnes Funeral Home on the morning of February 7 in the presence of a five-member jury.

Wilford’s remains were identified by his father, Laurie Wilford, also of Canada, after which the coroner and jury viewed and examined the body.

On the morning of January 25, Wilford; his wife, Julie; and three other people went diving three miles off Ffryes Beach.

At about 9:30 a.m., reports say, they proceeded into the water and descended to about 30 feet, at which time Wilford began to complain of ear problems.

Further reports say the others left him and continued their descent to 55 feet; however, when they resurfaced about 45 minutes later, they did not see him.

Several searches reportedly were carried out by the Antigua and Barbuda Defence Force Coast Guard, two helicopters, and a French boat, but without success.

However, Shane Tonge, a diver from Urlings, carried out a subsequent search and found Wilford’s diving glass at a depth of 30 feet and his body at about 55 feet down.

Meanwhile, the body of 89-year-old Mizsak was identified by Pamela Arthurton of the U.S. Consulate.

Mizsak is from Manchester Township, New Jersey, and passed away here on Monday, January 29.

An inquest is a judicial inquiry to ascertain the facts related to an incident, and determines whether a death was accidental, from misadventure, or a homicide.