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After Eight Months, Still No Id Or Reason For Death Of Burned Bodies

By NICO SCAVELLA

Tribune Staff Reporter

nscavella@tribunemedia.net

POLICE Commissioner Ellison Greenslade yesterday said the Royal Bahamas Police Force still has not identified the four badly burned bodies discovered in April on Anguilla Cay.

He said while Her Majesty’s Coroner Jeanine Weech-Gomez had the responsibility of concluding the investigation, the RBPF still did not “understand fully” the details surrounding the mysterious deaths.

Mr Greenslade’s statement comes eight months after local authorities initially discovered the bodies. This weekend, a video posted by a Facebook user in April resurfaced on the social media site showing a man who, at the time, appeared to have stumbled across the bodies by accident.

At a press conference at the RBPF headquarters yesterday, Mr Greenslade could only say that due process into the investigation had been followed by the force, but concluding the investigation lies in the hands of Mrs Weech-Gomez. He also repeated his past warnings to the public to be “very, very careful when listening to crime opinions that do not come from him”.

“I am very satisfied that we enjoy the full support and confidence of Her Majesty’s Coroner, that we’ve walked as an organisation the straight and narrow because she would have it no other way,” Mr Greenslade said. “She’s very distinguished in her right, and I’m satisfied as Commissioner that she has been doing a very good job in clearing these matters.

“I’m not going to speak out of turn as Commissioner, and I’m never going to step in front of Her Majesty’s Coroner and speak on something that I’m not authorised to speak to. We do not, as a police organisation, understand fully what it is we’re dealing with there, except that we’ve followed due process and we’ve followed procedures as per law.”

In early April, Royal Bahamas Defence Force Commodore Roderick Bowe confirmed that the bodies were discovered on Anguilla Cay in the Cay Sal Bank area. However, Mr Bowe told the media that any further details on the matter would have to come from Mr Greenslade.

Shortly thereafter, a team consisting of RBPF, RBDF and forensic officials were deployed to the island, where they discovered the badly burnt bodies of three men and one woman, all presumed to be Haitian nationals.

The bodies were screened and later brought to New Providence for further analysis. Nonetheless, RBDF Lieutenant Commander Raymond King at the time said foul play was suspected in the matter because tyres were visibly used to burn the bodies of the victims.

Over the weekend, an alleged video of the four burned bodies resurfaced on Facebook. Facebook user Hank Elden, in a video of himself posted on April 2, said he was diving in the Anguilla Cay/Cay Sal area when he stumbled upon four bodies.

With a cloth wrapped around his face, Mr Elden could be seen walking around four visibly burned human carcasses, all lying amongst burnt sticks and other pieces of wood.

One of the deceased, he said in the video, appeared to have been shot in the back. In the comments beneath the video’s posting, the man further said that one of the males had a “four inch crack” in his skull like he had been “hit with an object of some kind”.

In the comments underneath the video, Mr Elden said he too, suspected that foul play led to their deaths.

Yesterday, Mr Greenslade could not give any conclusive information regarding the investigation, but repeated his past warnings to the public. “When this Commissioner speaks or my official press officer speaks, and we tell you that something has happened, that is what you should pay attention to,” he said. “Social media is a difficult, complex place to play and to work. You can be very disadvantaged and misled on that super information highway.”

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