Family in confusion as corps of their grandmother disappears in the mortuary

A family in Ebonyi State is in confusion after the disappearance of the corpse of their 80-year-old matriarch, Madam Grace Okoro, from a mortuary in Owutu Edda community, in the Afikpo South Local Government Area of the state.

The brother of the deceased, Pastor Fred Okoro, said he got the shock of his life when family members went to collect the remains of their sister on the burial day, only to discover that a different corpse was kept in the morgue for them.

Madam Grace died on July 2, 2021, and her remains were deposited same day in the mortuary, said to be on the premises of the General Hospital, Owutu Edda.

With the burial date fixed for December 28, 2021, sympathisers and relations gathered under various canopies at the deceased’s compound, singing and chanting, only for news to filter in that the corpse was missing from the mortuary.

Fred said the family sensed something was amiss a month after the deposit was made, as several efforts by members to see the condition of the corpse were frustrated by the morticians, who claimed that the morgue was being fumigated.

He said it dawned on them when the family members went to the mortuary to get the corpse for lying-in-state and burial only for a strange corpse to be presented to them.

The cleric said, “The corpse presented to us was not ours because my sister is tall, about six feet tall, and we discovered that the person was short. Not only that, my sister had plaited hair at the time of death, but that one had low-cut hair.

“I suspected foul play when those alleged to have mistaken my sister’s corpse for theirs refuted the allegation. It was discovered that those people deposited their relative in May, whereas my sister was deposited on July 2nd.”

A daughter of the deceased, Welsie Okoro, a naval rating, described the development as incredible, adding that when they dragged the morticians to the Owutu Police Station, they claimed that they mistakenly handed the corpse to another family for burial.

“The mortuary attendant, Mr Felix, said one of his colleagues said he knew the person he gave my mother’s corpse to,” she added.

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

He said, “Investigations are still on; I am sure we are going to recover the corpse.”

PUNCH Metro gathered that mourners who had gathered for the burial went home disappointed, abandoning all that was prepared for the event.

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