‘My Husband Could Swim’

Mrs. Precious Andrews.jpg

Mrs. Precious Andrews, widow of the former Liberia Petroleum Refinery Company Managing Director, Harry Greaves, says her husband was a skillful swimmer but never swam in the ocean.

Speaking to the Daily Observer yesterday in an exclusive interview, Mrs. Andrews said, “What else they (government) could have provided?”

She noted that there is a lot more to his death and not just what now seemed to be obvious in the autopsy report, which attributed his death to drowning.

Mrs. Andrews’ comments were in response to the autopsy findings on the remains of her late husband.

A team of forensic experts from Nebraska were contracted by the Government of Liberia and the report was officially made public yesterday by Justice Minister Benedict Sannoh.

Minister Sannoh said during the regular press briefing at the Ministry of Information (MICAT), that in spite of many rumors and falsehoods about the case, the experts have reported that the former LPRC boss died of drowning.

Minister Sannoh said those who are not satisfied with the report and want to do further autopsy can go ahead but this is what the government has found.

He noted that despite the report, government will still continue the criminal investigation process because the report only tells what caused his death but does not indicate who might have done it and why.

According to the report, the probable cause of Greaves’ death was due to asphyxiation by salt water drowning, prolonged immersion in sea water which led to the soaking or softening of the skin (maceration-washer woman), skin slippage and loss-diffusely over body with stocking glove separation of skin of soles and palm; decomposition-moderately advanced; obesity-mild.

The report further said that postmortem (after death) toxicology results are pending through the St. Louis University Toxicology Department.

The report indicated that “postmortem bloodless blunt traumatic injuries consist with impacts on ocean rocks, including laceration at the vertex of the scalp, C7-T1 spine intervertebral disc separation and multiple left posterior and left lateral rib fractures.” This further dispels rumors that Greaves head might have been hit with a sharp object and that his rectum was tampered with.

“There is no gross evidence of ante mortem injuries. The findings include multiple postmortem blunt traumatic musculoskeletal injuries and skin changes, consistent with prolonged immersion in sea water and impacts on ocean rocks,” it said.

It further said, “There is no evidence of any anorectic trauma or penetration. Skin slippage was all over his body as a result of the prolonged immersion and there is no evidence to suggest that acid or caustic substances were poured on him.”

In conclusion, Minister Sannoh noted that Harry Greaves’ death was as a result of asphyxiation by salt water and there is no evidence to suggest supporting any of the allegations that have been circulating around here.”

He further said that investigation has not come to an end, but it simply means that because “we have established cause of death it could narrow in on the areas where more investigations are needed and these investigations are currently being done by the LNP.”

He said based on the President’s desire to have the matter thoroughly investigated, the government has sent a formal request to the US Embassy to look into the possibility of providing technical assistance to conduct a more thorough examination to look at the circumstances leading to what had happened.


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