Autopsies on cocaine-laced SSS Tonic victims inconclusive

– tissue samples taken for further tests

Post-mortem examinations conducted yesterday on the bodies of the four persons who died two Sundays ago after consuming a multivitamin tonic reportedly laced with cocaine have provided inconclusive results and samples were taken from the bodies so that toxicology tests can be conducted.

Police said yesterday that Pathologist Dr Nehaul Singh conducted the autopsies on the bodies of Alex Blair, Simone Price, their six-year-old son Jahaquel Blair and neighbour Natasha George.

“The cause of their deaths has not yet been determined and body samples have been taken with a view to conducting further examinations,” the police said.

Police had said in a statement that investigations revealed that a bottle of SSS Tonic with cocaine dissolved inside, along with casareep and chicken foot (Sev) had been left at the Blairs’ East La Penitence home by a man known to them for a female guest from overseas to take back when she was returning.

The woman, according to the police, did not carry the items and during the morning hour the victims consumed some of the SSS Tonic.

The Blairs and George lived opposite each other on Cocorite Street, East La Penitence and were friends for many years. Stabroek News was reliably informed that Price and the overseas guest identified as “Candy” were sisters.

The person who took the tonic and other items to the home is the cousin of Price. Police are still looking for him.

Jamal Waterman, Blair’s 12-year-old son survived because he spat out the liquid and drank juice to rid himself of the taste. He spent several days in hospital and was discharged after being given a clean bill of health by doctors.

Crime Chief Leslie James said yesterday afternoon that the samples taken from the bodies will first be taken to the Guyana Police Force’s lab for analysis. They may later be sent overseas.

Previously, in cases of suspected poisoning or inconclusive PME results, samples were taken and sent overseas for testing. Years have gone by and several of these cases are still pending because the samples are still reportedly in possession of the police.

Among these cases are the mysterious deaths of murder accused David ‘Biscuit’ Leander and Canadian Jean La Blanc who both died under questionable circumstances while in hospital.

Leander, who had accused the police of torturing him, had lapsed into a coma and subsequently died. Le Blanc was shot in the buttocks during the execution of Ricardo Rodrigues, an injury which was not life threatening.

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