After releasing the preliminary report on the postmortem examination of the remains of Harry Greaves by American pathologist Thomas Bennett, the body was last Saturday turned over to Greaves’s widow Precious Andrews Greaves by the Government of Liberia.
Mrs. Greaves told the Daily Observer yesterday in a telephone conversation that upon receiving the body, she immediately returned custody to the St. Moses Funeral Parlors to begin arrangements for what will lead to the announcement of the date for the funeral.
Expected to arrive in Monrovia for the burial are the deceased’s children and siblings, said Mrs. Greaves.
Harry A. Greaves, whose remains were discovered lying naked on the beach behind the old Ministry of Planning in Monrovia, was last seen Friday, January 29, 2016.
His mysterious death shocked the nation, and many theories about the possible cause of death and who could be the perpetrators were advanced by many, even to the extent of accusing fingers being pointed at others, including the government.
Following President Ellen Johnson’s declaration that her government has critics and not enemies in an attempt to distance herself from any blame, she hired a topflight pathologist, from the Nebraska Forensics Institute in the United States, to conduct the autopsy, ditching the Nigerian summoned by Justice Minister Sannoh.
Dr. Thomas Bennett concluded following his provisional autopsy on Feb. 8, that Harry Greaves died as a result of “asphyxiation by drowning in salt water.”
Dr. Bennett’s autopsy indicated the following: “Immersion in sea water; prolonged maceration (washer woman) artifact of skin. Skin slippage and loss, diffusely over body, with stocking-glove separation of skin of solid palms; decomposition, moderately advanced, obesity, mild.”
It further noted that the toxicology result is pending at the St. Louis University Toxicology Department in the United States which means that the final confirmation of the pathologist’s report will be done by St. Louis University Toxicology Department. That “is not to suggest that Mr. Bennett’s (MD) report will be contradicted,” said someone close to the report.
Dr. Bennett’s report also pointed out that “postmortem bloodless blunt traumatic musculoskeletal injuries (found on the body) and skin changes were consistent with prolonged immersion in sea water and impact on ocean rocks.”
“There is no great evidence of any anorectal trauma or penetration,” in other words, “nothing was found to indicate that any foreign object was inserted into his anus,” a knowledgeable doctor told the Daily Observer yesterday.
Dr. Bennett’s report stated that “skin slippage was all over his (Greaves) body from the prolonged immersion in the water, and there is no evidence to suggest that acid or other caustic substances was poured on this man.”
“Ok at least that is what the pathologist is saying, but can we know how Mr. Greaves got into the water?” asked many upon hearing the preliminary autopsy report on Harry Greaves’ death.