Former Crime Chief had ordered use of one coffin for burial of victims’ remains


… controversial Lindo Creek CoI hears

Former Crime Chief Seelall Persaud had ordered that the remains of the eight miners killed at Lindo Creek be buried in one coffin, some four years after they were killed, despite the advice of the Lyken Funeral Home.

This information came to light during the afternoon session of the Lindo Creek Commission of Inquiry (CoI), where evidence was given by Dr Dawn Stewart of the Lyken Funeral Home.

According to Dr Stewart, on the day of the incident back in June 2008, she received a call for the pick-up of the remains. However, when she received the remains, she did not open them as she did not want to tamper with the evidence.

Commissioner, Lindo Creek CoI, retired Justice Donald Trotman

The remains, she said, was at the funeral home for some four years; the longest time any corpse has been at the facility in its 95-year history. According to Dr Stewart, the home had advised the Police to have the remains buried; however, they were told not to since the investigation was still ongoing. She said within the first year, some family members had been making inquiries about the remains, however, they were always referred to the Police.

Former Crime Chief Seelall Persaud

Dr Stewart said when the funeral home was finally given the go-ahead to bury the remains, they were told that “one coffin would do” by then Crime Chief Seelall Persaud. However, the remains were eventually buried in three coffins at the Le Repentir cemetery. She explained that the home took it upon itself to have a short service “for closure” with a few family members of one of the victims. And even with family members making further inquiries about the deceased, Dr Stewart said there was nothing that could be done since “we didn’t know who was who.”

The Presidential Commission of Inquiry has been established to enquire into the circumstances surrounding the killings of Cecil Arokium, Dax Arokium, Horace Drakes, Bonny Harry, Lancelot Lee, Compton Speirs, Nigel Torres and Clifton Berry Wong, on or about the June 21, 2008, and to report the findings and recommendations to President David Granger.

The Commission will meet again on Tuesday, March 5.


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