The Royal Barbados Police Force (RBPF) has been left with two bodies on its hands and a near impossible task of identifying them because they have no fingerprints or facial recognition left, an official source revealed.
Personnel from the RBPF and the Coast Guard retrieved the bodies from the country’s waters earlier this year, however, a senior RBPF officer told Barbados TODAY feverish efforts to determine their identities had so far proved fruitless.
“We cannot move forward until those bodies have been identified. The bodies were in advanced stages of decomposition, thereby devoiding them of any features, and in some cases features and fingerprints. In many cases some were without clothing,” the officer said.
According to the senior lawman, the RBPF had no other choice but to go the scientific route of DNA testing, “however we would need the DNA to match it to in order to have identification”.
He said dental checks were also under consideration but police would need the cooperation of the relatives.
“That is why we are asking persons who have missing loved ones to come forward. If they do come forward and they are interviewed and present dental records then we can match them against those persons who are deceased.”
On July 2, members of the Fire and Rescue Service recovered the body of a man from the beach at Jones Bay, Bishops, St Lucy, at the bottom of a 40-foot cliff.
And on April 23, another body, believed to be that of a man of East Indian descent in his 40s, was found floating off Bathsheba Beach in St Joseph.
“Generally bodies are kept for some time but eventually a decision would be made to have them interred,” the officer said, even as he again pleaded with people who have had relatives missing for a long time to come forward.
Currently there are four persons still unaccounted for on the missing list for this year.
Douglas Beauty Hunte, 82, of 2nd Ave Ivy, St Michael was last seen on Saturday July 2nd; Vincent Audley Athelbert Rudder, 52, of Hunte’s Road, Carrington Village, St Michael went missing on April 24; Opel Hannahway, 46, of 3rd Avenue, Beckles Road, St Michael and Sancia Durant, 66, of Sergeant’s Village, Christ Church both went missing in July.
“We always advocate that persons should report [to the police] as soon as possible when all other means have been exhausted in looking for their loved ones.
“We are also appealing to those persons who decide to leave home . . . to tell persons where they intend to go, which in itself will [resolve] some of the issues that surround missing persons,” the officer advised.
He also revealed that efforts were ongoing to locate 18-year-old Emile John of Paynes Bay, St James, who has been missing since October 7, 2015.