The packed crowd of sympathizers who had gone to the Christ Church last Friday to pay their last respects to Madam Christiana Laraba S. Murray went home shocked when the obviously embarrassed Preacher (name withheld) announced that the funeral was “called off”. As usual this set tongues wagging as to what had gone wrong.
A close relative who spoke to Awoko under condition of anonymity said when they went to the Connaught hospital mortuary to collect the corpse they were shown another corpse.
This immediately created confusion as they now wanted to take the corpse to the Church where people had already assembled for the funeral.
When the mortuary staffs were questioned it came out that the missing corpse could have mistakenly been given to another family to bury.
Accusing fingers were pointed at one of the attendants Mr Wilfred Thomas whose mother-in-law was also deceased and kept in the same place as Madame Murray.
Mr Thomas’s mother-in-law had been taken to Gloucester where she had been buried last Sunday.
Mr Thomas insisted that he knew his mother-in-law very well although he had not seen her for the past thirty years. He however admitted that he was not around when the corpse was brought to the mortuary.
The riddle was solved when the mortuary authorities decided that they should exhume Mr Thomas’s mother-in-law at Gloucester.
The other corpse which had been rejected by the relatives of Madame Murray was then loaded and taken to Gloucester, where it was positively identified as Mr Thomas’s Mother-in-law.
The exhumation then went on under the heavy rains on Saturday in Gloucester, with the help of CID officials who had been called in to help solve this riddle of the missing corpse.
After the exhumation, family members positively identified the exhumed corpse as the body of Madame Murray.
The other corpse was then buried and Madame Murray was then brought back to the Connaught hospital mortuary.
The exhumed corpse of Madame Murray which had already started to decompose will now be buried on Wednesday.
It was later learnt that relatives of attendants who are taken to the mortuary attract a reduced fee. This confusion about the missing corpse could very well be centered around this fee reduction.
One attendant is already believed to have been suspended for a month because of the embarrassing incident which also revealed that corpses are not tagged and named at the mortuary.