The postmortem report on the body of the former Managing Director of the Liberia Petroleum Refining Company or LPRC Harry Greaves have revealed how he may have died a horrible death. The report says Greaves died from prolonged emersion in seawater and an impact on ocean rocks, something that may have caused the deep wounds on his face.
Diagnosis of the provisional autopsy conducted by Nebraska Forensics Institute Pathologist Mr. Thomas L. Bennett points to “asphyxia by drowning, salt water, associated with immersion in seawater, prolonged.”
The report released Tuesday, 9 February at the Ministry of Information, Cultural Affairs and Tourism or MICAT at a flooded press conference says the “probable cause of death” is “asphyxia by salt water drowning,” and that there is no gross evidence of antemortem traumatic injuries.
Charged with medical terminologies, the report says findings include multiple postmortem blunt traumatic musculoskeletal injuries and skin changes, consistent with prolonged immersion in seawater and impact on ocean rocks.
It concludes that “there is no gross evidence of any anorectal trauma or penetration,” and that skin slippage was all over his body, from the prolonged immersion in the water, and there is no evidence to suggest that acid or other caustic substance was poured on this man.”
Though the report concludes that Greaves died from “Asphyxia by drowning,” suggesting his body was deprived of oxygen leading to his death, government says it has not ruled out any foul play.
Information Minister Eugene Nagbe clarified saying, the government did not say no foul play, but “we say drowning.”
After allegedly disappearing from the RLJ Hotel off the Robertsfield Highway on 29 January, Mr. Greaves’ lifeless body was found at the beach behind the fence of the old Planning Ministry in Monrovia on Sunday, 31 January.
After reading through the pathologist’s report Tuesday, Liberia’s Justice Minister and Attorney General Cllr. Benedict Sannoh dismissed reports of sodomy or penetration of stick into the deceased’s anus, and challenged those who saw the stick to bring it forth.
He argued further that the doctors confirmed that those injuries on the head of Mr. Greaves “occurred after death,” saying the cuts on the body – there is no evidence of bleeding because once a person dies, they cannot bleed anymore.
“There is no evidence to support any of the allegation that has been circulating around here,” he said, though the Attorney General says this has by no means suggests that investigation has come to an end.
Rather he says, government can now narrow down the investigation, as he disclosed that the Liberia National Police or LNP is currently investigating the matter. Cllr. Sannoh further says based on President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf’s desire to have a thorough investigation into the matter, government has already made contact with the United States’ Embassy near Monrovia to look into the possibility of providing technical assistance to conduct a more thorough examination over the circumstances leading to the death.
“We have received a response from them,” he said, but noted that it is not yet confirmed how soon that will be. Concerning the death of the late Victoria Zayzay who allegedly died at the Zone 6 Police Depot in Brewerville last year, Cllr. Sannoh says doctors have decided to do a second autopsy because the first autopsy, which is inconclusive provides no cause of death.
Information Minister Eugene Nagbe emphasized that the autopsy report says “the cause of death is as a result of drowning,” as he defended the location where the corpse was discovered in Monrovia from Kendeja, saying elementary geography teaches that the Atlantic ocean flows East to Northwest.
By Winston W. Parley-Edited by Othello B. Garblah