BODY AT FUNERAL SHOWS "SIGNS OF LIFE"
(Defend Haiti) -
PORT-AU-PRINCE – At a funeral, friends and family of the deceased noticed new injuries and bleeding coming from the body of their beloved, leading many of them to believe that the deceased was not yet dead when brought to the morgue, but was killed by morgue employees seeking to maintain their pay.
The owner and four employees at the morgue have been arrested.
An article in Le Nouvelliste reported on the funeral of Jean Wilbert Elma, 53, which took place on the morning of Thursday, May 24th.
It was reported that during the wake which was held at a church on Delmas 101, members of the family found fresh fractures and wounds on the body of the victim, who was bleeding in the coffin. Injuries that were not seen before when the body was admitted to the hospital, and subsequently the morgue.
The deceased’s family called the morgue "Les entreprises Funéraires Shalom", where Jean Wilbert Elma was admitted for 10 days, and accused them of killing him. They also contacted the Government Commissioner, Jean Renel Senatus, to have him hear their complaints.
Arriving on the scene, the commissioner, who was accompanied by a justice of the peace, ordered that the body be transported to the Hospital of the State University of Haiti (HUEH), because the 53 year old man had shown “signs of life;” even though a hole was noticed on his forehead, and burns to one of his feet.
"My father had no injury or fracture before he was taken to the morgue. It was at the morgue where they beat him," said Mary Marte Elma, the daughter of the victim.
Jean Wilbert Elma, according to his family, was pronounced dead at a hospital on Delmas 56, before being taken to the morgue. The family says that even then they had doubts whether Jean Elma was actually dead.
"The family was not sure that Elma had died. Parents had requested an autopsy from the morgue, but the owner said that he was dead. He even suggested that if Elma was alive, the money would be returned to the family. There, they beat and wounded him in the morgue," said Jean Louis, a close relative, of the National Police of Haiti.
Commissioner Senatus shared the same suspicions as the parents of the victim. It seems as though he was looking for such a case.
"This is a good opportunity to stop these practices, as it's been a long time that they’ve been occurring in the country. We will start public proceedings against the perpetrators and sponsors, so that they are brought to justice," said the Chief Public Prosecutor Senatus. The Commissioner, who visited the mortuary in question, arrested the owner and at least four employees.
Commissioner Senatus stated to reporters, that a few years ago a young child named Jocelaine Pierre from the neighborhood of Bel-Air, "was killed in that same morgue." The commissioner said that "the morgue will be closed and all accomplices nabbed.”
Members of the funeral and hearse driving community are displeased with the actions of the justice officials. They believe that without an autopsy of the victim, the Commissioner cannot take such actions.
Haiti has only two forensic experts according to Le Nouvelliste.
In regard to the victim, his death was declared a few minutes after arriving at the hospital.
Today, it is unclear when the funeral of Jean Elma will be held