Corpse disappears from mortuary on burial day

A woman’s body has gone missing from an Ebonyi State mortuary, leaving relatives stunned.

Due to the corpse’s disappearance, the burial could not take place as planned.

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After dying in the hospital, Madam Grace Orjiokoro’s body was deposited at the General Hospital Mortuary Owutu Edda in Afikpo South Local Government Area.

She passed away on July 2nd, at the age of 80.

However, the family was taken aback when they went to the mortuary on December 28 to pick up the body for burial only to find it had vanished.

Sympathizers and family members had gathered under various canopies throughout the deceased’s compound, singing and chanting, only to learn that the body had gone missing from the mortuary.

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Fred Okoro, the deceased’s brother, said he received the shock of his life when the family went to the morgue to collect their sister’s remains on the day of the burial, only to discover that a different corpse had been kept in the morgue for them.

A month after making a deposit at the mortuary, he said they had suspicions.

Family members’ attempts to see the condition of the corpse were allegedly thwarted by morticians who claimed that the morgue was always fumigated.

It dawned on them, Pastor Okoro said, when the family members went to the mortuary to pick up the body for lying in state and burial, only to be confronted with a strange corpse.

“The body that was presented to us was not ours because my sister is tall, about 6 feet tall, and we discovered that the person was short.”

“Not only that,” he added, “but my sister had plaited hair that fell down on her shoulder at the time of her death, whereas this one has a low cut hair.”

Welsie Okoro, the deceased’s daughter and a naval officer, described the development as unbelievable.

When the morticians were dragged to the Owutu Police Station, they claimed that they had mistakenly given her mother’s body to another family for burial.

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“Even the mortuary attendant, Mr Felix, said one of his coworkers knows who he gave mother’s body to,” she added.

Pastor Okoro suspected foul play because those accused of mistaking his sister’s body for their own had denied the claim.

“Those people deposited the body in May, whereas my sister was deposited on July 2nd,” he explained.

Mr Vincent Ude, the Mortuary’s Manager, said he was doing everything he could to recover the body.

“Investigations are still ongoing, and I am confident we will recover the body,” he said.

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