Jamaica: Missing remigrant was in morgue 7 weeks before family was notified

Seymour Samuels

(Jamaica Gleaner) The family of 82-year-old returned resident Seymour Samuels is upset that for the seven weeks he was reported missing, he had been lying dead in a Westmoreland morgue.

The police say Samuels was last seen on October 25 and was reported missing two days later.

In a statement, the family said they have since learned that on the same day the missing person report was filed, Samuels’ body clad only in an underwear, was fished from the sea by a fisherman in Lucea, Hanover.

But the family said they only became aware of Samuels’ death on Friday, December 14.

Seymour Samuels (left) and his son, Edward

“We are yet to be told the full circumstances of how he came to be where he was found, when he was found, and what happened thereafter,” said Samuels’ son, Edward.

“We, as a family, are trying to come to terms with not only my father’s death, but how we were left agonising unnecessarily for seven weeks whilst my father lay unclaimed since his disappearance.”

He said the Jamaican police force has shown no empathy.

“How’d he get in the water, where are his clothes and his phone which is still ringing on the 16th of December at 7:30 p.m, and how can the police who are supposedly looking for a missing elderly person not check the morgue on a regular basis?” Edward wrote in the statement, while claiming that the police are yet to do any checks on his father’s cell phone.

Samuels’ body was reportedly transferred by the Lucea police to a morgue in Savanna-la-Mar in Westmoreland following the October 27 recovery.

It is being alleged that the body was not properly documented by police personnel.

When The Gleaner contacted the Hanover police, we were referred to the Westmoreland police.

However, the Westmoreland police sent the news team back to the Hanover police, saying the body was found in Lucea and was only in Westmoreland because of the location of the morgue.

The Hanover police were again contacted and they reported that there was no information on Samuels’ death, since he went missing in Westmoreland.

The police also reported that a post-mortem was inconclusive but said investigators do not suspect foul play.

Samuels, who was born in Jamaica, lived in the United States and the United Kingdom.

He decided to resettle in Westmoreland after visiting his family in April.

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