Trinidad-based pathologist Valery Alexandrov arrived on Saturday and headed straight to the Bagotsville cemetery and took samples from Sangeeta Persaud’s body which had been exhumed.
Persaud, 14, died in hospital hours after an ‘exorcism’ last month. Minister of Home Affairs Clement Rohee last Thursday cited the administration’s concern about the controversy that erupted following Persaud’s death. The first autopsy conducted on Persaud’s body was inconclusive and Rohee subsequently announced the decision to have the exhumation and an autopsy done by an “independent pathologist.” Rohee said a second examination was important since the government hoped it would bring closure to the controversy.
Persaud’s grandmother, with whom she was living just before her death, other relatives, members of their Church, local Pathologist Nehaul Singh and other government officials were present at the exhumation. Stabroek News understands that Alexandrov returned to Trinidad with the samples the same day. It has since been reported that Persaud died of meningitis. Various tests will be carried out on the samples collected to determine finally what caused Persaud’s death.
Several efforts to contact Rohee for a comment last evening were futile. It is unclear how long it will take Alexandrov to report on his findings. Alexandrov, a Russian native and American citizen, has been in practice for almost 40 years. He had been hired by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in the capacity of a senior forensic pathologist for the Commonwealth Caribbean countries. Later, he was hired directly by the Trinadad and Tobago government as a senior forensic pathologist in 2008.