Coroner halts burial, calls for autopsy

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A coroner has issued a temporary order halting the burial of Lancelot Riley Sr who reportedly died days after an alleged accident at his New Winthorpes home earlier this month.
The order was issued by Chief Magistrate Joanne Walsh, a police source said, pending the outcome of an inquest and autopsy to establish the cause of his death.
The order threw into disarray plans to lay the 59-year-old man to rest after a memorial service that was held at the St John’s Seventh Day Adventist Church yesterday.
One of the dead man’s sons confirmed that the service was conducted but the management of Barnes Funeral home was instructed, according to a police source, not to release the body to the man’s family.
The police source said the magistrate’s order came days after some relatives of the deceased expressed concern that others were pushing for him to be buried without an autopsy or inquest.
It was said the former government worker fell in his yard on June 4, hit his head and sustained serious injuries. The father of four was rushed to Mount St John’s Medical Centre (MSJMC) where he died on June 7.
According to a senior government official, the matter was only turned over to the police after some relatives took their concerns to government officials. A senior officer confirmed this information.
Lawmen are now investigating why the medical staff at the hospital, allegedly, did not report the death to the police or coroner as required by law in situations where the circumstances appear unnatural.
Meanwhile, the man’s widow, Debra Riley yesterday declined to comment on the issues surrounding the stoppage of the burial and what happened on the day of the accident and during the period of his hospitalisation.
She said she was dealing with a lot at the time and added that once she settles down today, she would engage the media.
The woman nonetheless confirmed her husband had an accident and died in hospital.
The burial notice which was earlier announced via several media, was yesterday replaced with the following public notice, “The funeral of the late Lancelot Riley, Community Technology Officer, within the Ministry of Information, Broadcasting, Telecommunications and Information Technology has been unavoidably postponed. The new date will be advised in due course. The family regrets the inconvenience which the delay may cause.”

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