By Kadeem Joseph
Relatives of a man who died at Mount St John’s Medical Centre have grown desperate waiting for a forensic pathology investigation to begin into the circumstances surrounding their loved one’s death.
The probe into the death of Mario Honoré has been delayed almost eight months due to monies owed to the overseas-based forensic pathologist, meaning the family is unable to lay him to rest.
Damian De Silva told OBSERVER that Honoré, his eldest brother, passed away at the hospital’s Intensive Care Unit on June 14, 2019 due to “a variety of complications”.
However, the circumstances of the death prompted the matter to be referred to a forensic pathologist for further investigation.
“After inquiring about the state of progress on the post mortem, we were told that the forensic pathologist was yet to be paid for previous work done for the local government, and had thus chosen to withhold her services until such time as she was paid,” De Silva explained.
He said in the search for closure, family members had contacted several government officials to include Minister of Health, Molwyn Joseph and Minister of Legal Affairs, Steadroy “Cutie” Benjamin. The family has also been in contact with the police officer in charge of the case, along with Chief Medical Officer, Dr Rhonda Sealy-Thomas and Chief Magistrate, Joann Walsh.
“Friday 14th of February will mark a total of eight months since my brother’s passing, and me and my siblings, his father and our extended family are yet to receive closure,” De Silva added.
He told OBSERVER that many family members have not been taking the prolonged delay well.
“I have sick aunts who are waiting for the resolution, cousins who have come and left and friends and extended family who simply have their lives on hold waiting for the go ahead to come down to Antigua for the funeral,” he added.
De Silva said that it is “unfortunate” that the family has now had to resort to contacting media in the hopes of resolving the issue, however, they have run out of patience.
Police spokesman Inspector Frankie Thomas, told OBSERVER, “There are some concerns with outstanding monies that are owed, which are currently being addressed by the relevant authorities.”
While Thomas did not give a timeline for the resolution of the matter, he said the force “sincerely regrets” the situation and continues to take the plight of the family into consideration.
He added that the police will continue to work with the family “to offer them closure”.