While legal authorities jostle, another set of dead bodies is decomposing in the now-infamous refrigerated container on the Holberton compound, informed sources allege.
The sources tell REAL News that, on Tuesday, February 21, a senior officer in the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) requested assistance from the Central Board of Health (CBH) in having the corpses buried at the public cemetery.
In response, CBH officials reportedly requested a letter of authorization from the Commissioner of Police. However, it is alleged that the permission letter could not be processed, since Commissioner Atlee Rodney is off island and his whereabouts are not known – even to his deputy – the sources claim.
But insiders tell our Newsroom that, had the letter been obtained from the Acting Commissioner, no burials could have taken place, anyway, “since no warrant has been issued by the coroner for the burial of the corpses.”
Further, the sources say, the request for such warrants must be made to the coroner – Chief Magistrate Joanne Walsh – by the Police, and this has not been done.
Accordingly, the sources are now accusing the senior CID officer of side-stepping the chain of command and “trying to have the bodies buried without [Walsh’s] knowledge.”
Last year, several bodies stored in the refrigerated container attached to the morgue decayed – to the point of becoming “liquefied” – when the power source to the unit reportedly failed.
Our Newsroom was alerted to the situation by someone on the compound who noticed swarming flies and a bad odour.
After the story broke, the corpses were hurriedly buried at very short notice to families and, reportedly, without post mortems being carried out.
Reportedly, this set of remains is stored in the same container, rumoured to be still defective.
The identities of the bodies are not known, but the sources speculate that they include immigrants who had no relatives on island to claim them. It is not known, either, whether autopsies had been conducted.