Probe launched into death of woman, 23, at Psychiatric Hospital

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The Ministry of Health has launched an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the death of a 23-year-old woman at the National Psychiatric Hospital located in New Amsterdam, Region Six (East Berbice-Corentyne).

This is according to Public Relations Officer, Shabana Shaw. Additionally, Regional Commander, Senior Superintendent Jairam Ramlakhan told the News Room that a police investigation is also ongoing.

Renada Pestano died on March 12, 2021, but to date, the family has been unable to get a post mortem examination conducted in order to proceed with her burial. Renada was discovered hanging with a sheet wrapped around her neck at the hospital two weeks ago.

Her mother, Michelle Pestano, suspects foul play, noting that her daughter’s feet were almost touching the ground when her body was discovered. The mother of five told the News Room that the death has taken a toll on the entire family, who resides at Kuru Kuru on the Soesdyke Linden Highway.

The mother claimed that her daughter, who has been at the institution since November last year, was in a state of distress and desperately wanted to leave.

“They said they found her with a sheet around her neck but the body was not hanging from where her feet were. Her body was standing up and the bar, it was not too far from where her head was. So how can she hang herself like that?” Michelle said as she fears a cover-up may be afoot.

She also criticised the management of the hospital and questioned where the doctors and nurses were when the incident occurred.

“Something went wrong there and it left me astonished to know that for the short of period of time…where the patients were? Where were the doctors and nurses in the ward?

Renada was a frequent patient at the hospital over the last few years. Her mother said she suffered from a mental breakdown as a result of a traumatic experience in the past.

Her body is presently at the New Amsterdam Mortuary awaiting a post mortem examination, but the family has been given no indication as to when this will be.

“This morning, my son called and ask when we have to go up and do the autopsy because we want to do the funeral, this is the second week already this girl autopsy ain’t do and then the freezer down, what really is happening?

The family is hoping that the autopsy will provide some answers to her death.

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