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Apr 25, 2013

Family troubled by death of drowned loved one

Crecencio Mai

A Ladyville family is having trouble accepting the death of their loved one, Crecencio Mai. The fifty seven year old Mai was found dead in a pond on Tuesday at his work place on the Old Northern Highway. The pain of the family is compounded by lingering questions they have about the results of an alleged autopsy. But as they grieve, the family says all they want at this point is closure. Duane Moody reports.


Duane Moody, Reporting

The body of fifty-seven year old Crecencio Mai was laid to rest today in the village of Lord’s Bank. But according to the family, they were told by Doctor Mario Estradabran that the state of decomposition of their loved one prevented him from doing an autopsy; hence the cause of his death was undetermined. The family is baffled as to why the post mortem which was to be conducted at one p.m. on Wednesday wasn’t…and even more disconcerting was that they were told to remove the body from the morgue immediately.


Sandra Flowers

Sandra Flowers, Niece of Deceased

“Wednesday they told us that the post mortem would have been done at one o’clock. And my father and my uncle went to the morgue to view the post mortem. Ad around four o’clock we got a call from the morgue informing us that we need to go to the morgue and remove the body immediately and that was an order from them. So all of us got very frightened because my sister and I were already preparing the programs and everything for funeral services on Saturday. We rushed to the hospital and with the help of his boss, they made it possible for the funeral to happen this morning instead of yesterday evening or else it would have been find a place and bury him immediately.”


Duane Moody

“A post mortem was not done on the body?”


Sandra Flowers

“It was not done. Doctor Estradabran said that the body is already decomposed; that he could not perform the autopsy.”


According to his coworker, Victor Canton, it is believed that Mai was fetching water from this pond here on this farm on the Old Northern Highway when he slipped and hit his head on a cornerstone. Also found submerged in the pond was a bucket.


Sandra Flowers

“Well according to what the coworker is saying is that he didn’t see Crecencio Mai and he was looking for him and when he went to the pond there he saw the body—probably just the top of his head and his shirt, but all the rest was in the water. So he called his boss and the police and that’s when the police went to recover the body of Crecencio Mai.”


Duane Moody

“Any signs of foul play; that he was hit or anything like that?”


Sandra Flowers

“I understand that there was a burst somewhere on his head and they said probably that’s when he fell in the pond and there were rocks there and probably he hit his head there. But we don’t know.”


But according to the family, the watchman was not a swimmer and despite speculation by them that it is foul play, the post mortem would have brought closure to them.


Sandra Flowers

“We haven’t heard any information from the police; yesterday they called my mother. My mother informed them that we need closure. We need to find out what exactly happened and without the autopsy, we won’t know. We have received the certificate from the hospital. Crecencio Mai dead; placed as drowning. That’s it. What else can we do? We can’t do anything.  We’ve seen people that have been worse decomposed that my uncle and they’ve performed autopsy, so why can’t they do it. Why can’t they do it? They need to feel what we are going through. They need to put themselves; they need to empathize with families—not only our family, but all the families in Belize and empathize with them.  We don’t want to be judging anybody, but we just want closure. We just want to know that okay fine, he drowned. That would make us feel very happy that he drowned instead of somebody killing him and probably throwing him into the pond.”


Well, a release from the police department today claims that a post mortem was done of Mai’s body—exactly between three-o-six p.m. and four p.m. on Wednesday—and that the cause of death is due to immersion syndrome, which relates to water and cold temperature injuries. Duane Moody for News Five.


Late this evening, News Five contacted Doctor Mario Estradabran. He told News Five that he did carry out an autopsy on Mai’s body. As to the cause of death which the police named in the blotter as “Immersion Syndrome,” Estradabran explained that it meant that water or fluid entered the windpipe and then into the bronchial tube.

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1 Response for “Family troubled by death of drowned loved one”

  1. Bear says:

    I wonder why it seems our government officials have a hard time treating human death incidents respectfully, such as calling this grieving family to demand they remove remains immediately, giving scant [if any!] information about the cause of death in too many cases, and rarely, if ever, conducting “first world” autopsies? We CAN do better with some care and planning and professionalism!

    Condolences to the family of the poor man, and may he resit in peace. The reported facts do sound like a probable accident, but it could have been handled with so much more compassion and understanding.

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