Relatives deny abandoning body of former accused murderer

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Glenroy Farrell, the uncle of Dion “Ticks” Thomas, is refuting the claim by a government official that his family abandoned Thomas’ body for five years and left the government to take responsibility for his burial.
Farrell, a retired constable who served for almost two decades, was responding to the statement by Attorney General Steadroy “Cutie” Benjamin who said recently that the family has shown no interest in the man since his death in police custody, so the government will be financing the funeral service and burial.
But, Farrell said, the family is awaiting instructions from the coroner, Chief Magistrate Joanne Walsh. He said he attended Thomas’ inquest at Straffie’s Funeral Home and, while there, he was informed that the body would not be released to the family for burial unless the toxicology results were ready.
“Up to now we are still waiting on a call, and then it came out in the paper that he died from a heart attack. I’m wondering now who fabricated that report after all these years,” Farrell said.
“We did not abandon him. What did [Benjamin and the funeral home] expect us to do, come and see the body every day and we can’t do anything with it?” he posited.
Thomas’ body has been at Straffie’s Funeral Home since July 12, 2012, the day he died after falling ill while in custody at Her Majesty’s Prison.
His cause of death was not determined then. Five weeks ago, a Bahamian pathologist reported that Thomas died of cardiac arrest. An earlier autopsy was inconclusive. The dead man’s uncle said the authorities never contacted the family to provide an update.
Farrell added, “It would be nice if they would still call and say something, even if it is late and the results were made public.”
He has also described the entire matter as a “betrayal by police.”
(More in today’s Daily Observer)

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