By Shermain Bique-Charles
As police seek to assure the family of the late Bruce Greenaway that justice will be meted out to those responsible for his demise, flashbacks of his obviously beaten and bruised body as it laid lifeless on a cold, iron table in the pathology lab at Holberton Hospital, last week Tuesday, were all that played out in their minds.
“When we saw his dead body, you would think he was born with deformities. There is visible evidence that he was beaten badly,” a family member told Observer yesterday.
On May 19, relatives of the deceased and law enforcement officials were called in to identify the body and receive the findings of the pathology report.
“He died of strangulation,” the close relative confirmed.
The body of the Falmouth resident, who was also known as “Jungle” or “Yankee”, was found on the shoreline of Indian Creek on Easter Monday, and allegations are that he was seen in the presence of soldiers shortly before he went missing the previous Thursday .
“We want justice and an explanation. Why is it okay to pick up a man off the streets, beat him and dump his body? If he committed a crime, take him to the station and arrest him. Don’t kill him and dispose his body,” the family member who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said.
Admitting that punishment of those responsible for the crime will not reverse the situation, the relative believes that bringing the perpetrators to justice could help save another life.
“We want to see the persons responsible for his death plead guilty and serve time for their heartless act. Perhaps his death will help bring to light the injustice being meted out to people in this country by those who abuse their power,” the relative said. “I honestly believe this is not the first of its nature, but I pray it will be the last.”
The source also expressed concern about the delayed action taken by the lawmen in issuing the death certificate — a document that is required in order for the body to be buried.
“What is the hold up? This is what we would like to know,” the relative declared.
When reports first surfaced that a body had been found at Indian Creek, some people posted on social media that it was that of a vagrant.
“It’s sad that some people on social media labelled him as a vagrant. And that is why whoever did the crime thought they could get away with it,” Greenaway’s relative said.
But even if he was a vagrant, or was homeless, “which he wasn’t, none of these are crimes. Murder, however, is a crime. We like to jump on the media wagon with all lives matter and black lives matter. Well, all lives in Antigua and Barbuda matter”, the relative said.
Greenaway, who was also called “Junior” by his close relatives, lived alone in his home which was on a shared family property. He was the father of two daughters, aged 16 and 12.
“They are sad to know what happened to their father. They are taking it really hard,” the source said.
Meantime, in a press statement issued yesterday, the Member of Parliament for St Paul E P, Chet Greene said that now Greenaway’s cause of death has been ascertained by medical science, “we await a full report on the outcome of the investigations into the circumstances leading to his death, and expect that appropriate criminal charges will be brought against those responsible”.
He said that without prejudicing the next steps in this case, he anticipates there will be “absolutely no delays in bringing the perpetrator or perpetrators to justice”.
Greene was quick to caution against any action which, he said, “could trespass on the patience of the people, while reminding that justice delayed is justice denied”.
On April 14, 2020, the Antigua and Barbuda Defence Force (ABDF) confirmed that it had commenced an internal investigation into allegations that a solider was seen in the company of Greenaway before his body was found.
The statement said that “the Antigua and Barbuda Defence Force is taking these allegations seriously and as such an internal investigation has commenced”.
Then on May 12, 2020, Chief of Defence Staff, Colonel Telbert Benjamin confirmed the completion of the ABDF’s internal probe, saying that the findings of the report had been handed over the police who are investigating the matter.
Lawmen, however have not yet divulged the contents of the probe to the media. However, the Police Public Relations Officer, Inspector Frankie Thomas said in a statement, on Sunday, that the investigations are in an advanced stage and several key persons of interest have been interviewed by the police.