Police are investigating the circumstances surrounding the sudden death of a 38-year-old Linden man who died at his Blue Berry Hill home on Friday.
The administration of the Linden Hospital Complex is also probing the unrecorded release of the man’s body from the Upper Demerara Hospital.
Clayton Crandon, 38 years, of Blue Berry Hill, Linden was pronounced dead on arrival at the Linden Hospital Complex (LHC) on Friday when he was rushed to the institution after eating a meal from home.
According to persons close to the family the man started frothing and choking in the midst of eating. “Wah I understand is he starting frothing through he mouth and nose when he was eating deh food and before you know it is dead he dead.” said a relative who asked not to be named.
Another relative said that the man lived with his partner Carla Lewis and shared living space with Lewis’ relatives. Contacted yesterday Lewis said that she was too hurt at the time to speak with Stabroek News but promised to do so when she finds it more convenient to her.
While no one is in police custody, investigations are being conducted since the man was suspected to have been poisoned. On Monday a post-mortem was done on the body and the results were inconclusive. Samples were taken from his stomach and handed over to the police for toxicology testing.
The senior porter attached to the Upper Demerara Hospital (UDH) found himself in the centre of the investigation when according to LHC sources he released the body to a hearse driver of the Linden Bauxite Pensioners’ Association (LBPA) without the permission of the LHC management.
SN was reliably informed that the porter released the body at midnight on Sunday contrary to the regulations of the LHC which had caused some suspicions among the administration and relatives. When contacted yesterday Chief Executive Officer ag of the LHC, Dr Farouk Riyasat confirmed that they are investigating the removal of the corpse.
He said that the details of the investigations were being handled by the Administrator of the LHC, Trevor Vangendren.
Repeated efforts to contact Vangendren were futile. The hospital’s CEO said that while they have a contract with the LBPA to transport corpses from the LHC to the UDH there is a procedure that has to be followed before the LBPA removes a corpse on behalf of the Police.
“I am the one who signs off for that to happen but in this case I didn’t even know that the body was removed because I didn’t sign for its release”, said Dr Riyasat who added that the necessary actions would be taken against the porter based on the results and recommendations of the investigations.
The body was subsequently located at the Lyken Funeral Parlour where it was scheduled for post-mortem examination on Monday last. Contacted, the administration of the LBPA said that they had followed the regular procedures for uplifting the corpse.
They said that it is regular practice that they transport bodies from Linden to Georgetown for post-mortem examination between the hours of 3:00 – 4:00 am to beat the traffic and be on-time for 7:00 am. They said that they were not aware that a procedure was breached in releasing the body and did not learn of the investigation until contacted by SN.