By Theresa Goodwin
Forensic analysis conducted on the charred remains of a body found in the Freetown area in a burnt-out car on October 30 2021 is pointing to that of missing man Arthur James.
Information Minister Melford Nicholas told media during yesterday’s post-Cabinet press briefing, “The Attorney General did confirm that the burnt body was identified as Arthur James.”
Sources say authorities are reluctant to make an official announcement until final paperwork is received from overseas agencies which carried out the analysis, but preliminary results received suggest the remains are indeed that of the Gray’s Farm man.
James’ loved ones have faced an agonising six-month wait for details of what happened to him.
James was last seen some time on October 28; two days later a missing person report was filed at Freetown Police Station by a relative. On the same day the report was filed the charred remains of a body were found in the burnt-out vehicle
Brothers Zamir and Obasic O’Garro, along with their cousin Uroy Joseph, all of Liberta, are jointly charged with his kidnapping. They are all currently out on bail.
To date, police have investigated the case surrounding James’s disappearance and the discovery of the body separately, despite reports in other sections of the media linking the two.
Police Public Relations Officer Inspector Frankie Thomas did not disclose whether or not the body was James’ when he was contacted for a comment on the matter yesterday.
He did however confirm that police are in receipt of the preliminary report of the forensic analysis and that the official reporting is still pending.
Thomas said when they receive the official report, police will be in a better position to determine how to proceed.
Minister Nicholas also disclosed yesterday that there are still outstanding monies owed to the overseas forensic agencies, which the government has committed to settling by the end of the week.
One more person waiting desperately for DNA results to be returned is grieving Nut Grove father Michael Cummins.
His 16-year-old son Dequan has not been since a January 10 blaze tore through three homes, including the one Dequan shared with his father in which a badly charred body was later discovered.
Cummins told Observer yesterday he is desperately awaiting the results of a swab he provided almost three months ago so he can finally have some form of closure.
“Me see so many people who look like he [Dequan] but it nah he,” he said. “I just want to comfortably bury my son and get over this.
“We never spent one day apart from one another before,” Cummins added.