No answers yet in mystery deaths of Wakapoa woman, father


Relatives of 38-year-old Selema Thomas and her 76-year-old father Edward Richards are yet to receive information about how they died.

Selema’s brother, Charles Richards told the News Room Tuesday that the family is still awaiting results from samples that were sent overseas for further testing after post mortem examinations were inconclusive.

“We went last week at the hospital and they say come back next three weeks,” Charles said.

The samples were sent about six weeks ago and the family was told that it would be back within three weeks.

“Is not easy to go to Georgetown and not get anything,” Charles said.

Selema died on June 17 this year after reportedly eating cassava bread and pepperpot, while her father died on June 19. Both of them were receiving treatment at Georgetown Public Hospital when they died.

Five other family members became ill and were hospitalized after eating the same meal on June 10. They experienced symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhoea, severe headache and fever.

It was also reported that three dogs from the family experienced the same symptoms and died.

Selema’s husband Richard Thomas, her brother Gavin Richards and father-in-law Norman Thomas were all rushed to the Charity Hospital on the Essequibo Coast on June 14. They were then taken to the Suddie Hospital and later transported to GPHC after their condition worsened.

Meanwhile on June 19, two teen relatives- Kishanna Thomas and Anasha Richards- were also rushed to GPHC after experiencing the same symptoms.

Selema’s husband, Richard and father-in-law Norman along with the two teens were discharged on June 26 after spending a few weeks in the hospital, while the brother Gavin was discharged four days later.

Charles said that they are all still recuperating.

“They are not 100% better according to what they telling me, but better, they coming good,” he said.

Relatives had told the News Room that doctors gave them a prescription to buy medication for cyanide poisoning.

Cyanide is released from natural substances in some foods and in certain plants such as cassava, beans and almonds.

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