From Chijioke Agwu, Abakaliki
The corpse of a woman has gone missing from a mortuary in Ebonyi State, leaving relatives stunned.
The burial could not hold as scheduled due to the disappearance of the corpse.
The body of the late Madam Grace Orjiokoro was deposited at the General Hospital Mortuary Owutu Edda in Afikpo South Local Government Area after she died in the hospital.
She was 80 years old when she died last July 2.
But the family was shocked when they went to the mortuary on December 28 to take the corpse for burial only to discover it was no longer there.
Sympathisers and relations had converged on various canopies at the deceased’s compound singing and chanting only for news to filter in that the corpse was missing in the mortuary.
A brother of the deceased, Fred Okoro, said he got the shock of his life 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 in the morgue for them.
He said they suspected something fishy a month after they made a deposit at the mortuary.
According to him, efforts made by family members to see the condition of the corpse were allegedly frustrated by the morticians who allegedly always claimed that the morgue was fumigated.
Pastor Okoro said it dawned on them when the family members went to the mortuary to get the corpse for lying in state and burial only to discover that a strange corpse was presented to them.
“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,” he said.
A daughter of the deceased, who is a Naval Officer, Welsie Okoro, described the development as unbelievable.
She noted when they dragged the morticians to Owutu Police Station, they claimed that they 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 mother’s corpse to,” she said.
Pastor Okoro said he suspected foul play as those alleged 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 was deposited in July 2nd,” he said.
The Manager of the Mortuary, Mr Vincent Ude, said he was doing everything possible to recover the corpse.
“Investigations are still on now, I am sure we are going to recover the corpse,” he said.
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