Bodies of children in Essequibo River accident to be exhumed


In a bid to determine their cause of death, the bodies of the three children who lost their lives after the boat they were in capsized in the Essequibo River last week, will have to be exhumed.

This was confirmed by Police Commander of Region Nine, Raphael Rose.

The News Room understands that the family members of the children made the decision to bury the children on Sunday, one day after the incident, without reportedly informing the Police.

The incident, which occurred around 03:00 hrs on August 12, resulted in the deaths of Linda Joseph, 12; Norsha Ayaw, 3 and her 11-month-old brother, Newton Ayaw.

The children are Norsha Ayaw and Newton Ayaw (Photos extracted from Guyana Times)

Police Headquarters reported that the children’s faces were partially eaten by piranhas.

As such, the News Room understands that while the bodies were in bad shape, it was difficult to have the autopsies done promptly due to the location of the area.

According to information reaching the News Room, it would have taken days to travel to the area by land. The fastest option is by plane and at the time, none was reportedly available.

As such, the family held a small ceremony in the community of Masakenari, Region Nine and buried the children.

But in keeping with the Guyana Police Force’s procedures as it relates to these incidents, the children should not have been buried until an autopsy was conducted.

As such, arrangements will now have to be made to have the bodies exhumed. It is unclear at this time when the exhumation will take place.

At the time of the incident, the three children were among 12 persons who were onboard a small boat which was captioned by the father of the Ayaw children.

Police headquarters reported that 35 sacks of cement and three drums of gasoline were also on the vessel.

Reports are that the boat departed Parabara Village, South Rupununi and was proceeding along the Essequibo River when it allegedly hit a rock, causing it to capsize.

The adults swam to shore and were later rescued by a passing vessel. The bodies of the children were subsequently recovered in the said river.

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