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Family cries out as corpse goes missing in Ebonyi mortuary

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The body of a woman has gone missing from a mortuary in Ebonyi State.

The family of late Grace Orjiokoro, who died at age 80, deposited her body at the General Hospital Mortuary, Owutu Edda in Afikpo South Local Government Area, after she died in the hospital, July 2, 2021.

However, when they went to the mortuary on Dec. 28, 2021 to retrieve her body for burial, they were given a different corpse.

Mourners had arrived at the deceased’s compound for the burial when they got news that the corpse was missing.

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Fred Okoro, a brother of the deceased, said he was shocked when the family members went to collect the remains of their sister on the burial day, only to discover that a different corpse was kept for them.

He claimed that a month before the burial, efforts made by family members to see the condition of the corpse were frustrated by the morticians with the claim that the morgue was fumigated.

Mr Okoro, who is a cleric, said they didn’t suspect foul play until the burial day when the family members went to the mortuary to get the corpse for lying-in-state and the burial, only to discover that a strange corpse was presented to them.

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He said: “The corpse presented to us was not ours because my sister is tall, about 6ft tall, and we discovered that the person was short. Not only that, my sister plaited hair that fell down on her shoulder at the time of death but this one has a low cut hair.”

The late woman’s daughter, Welsie Okoro, who is a naval officer, described the development as unbelievable, PremiumTimes reports.

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She said when the mortician was taken to police station over the matter, he claimed the mortuary mistakenly handed her mother’s corpse to another family for burial.

“And even the mortuary attendant, Mr Felix, said one of his colleagues said he knows the person he gave my mother’s corpse to.”

Mr Okoro said he suspected foul play, as those said to have mistaken his sister’s corpse for theirs had refuted the allegation.

“It was discovered that those people deposited the body in May, whereas my sister’s corpse was deposited on July 2,” he said.

The manager of the mortuary, Vincent Ude, said he was doing everything possible to recover the corpse.

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