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Autopsy: Piper was beheaded while alive

By Jensen LaVende jensen.lavende@trinidadexpress.com

THE killer or killers of Michael Derek Leinberg Piper hacked off his head while he was still alive.

An autopsy conducted at the Forensic Science yesterday stated that there were no bullet wounds to the body or stab wounds either and the cause of death was decapitation.

Piper’s head was found at Nelson Street, Port of Spain and his body, with hands and feet tied—in a nearby open lot around 6.15 a.m. on Monday. 

Relatives of Piper, who did not want to be identified when they spoke with the media, said their loved one did not deserve such a death. 

“That was very horrific and cruel! That was no way for anyone to die,” the relative said.

Piper would have celebrated his 52nd birthday at the end of the month, his relatives said, and was the father of three children and grandfather of seven. 

The relatives said all of Piper’s children lived in Canada, where he resided for some time.

 They said thanks to the Express on-line coverage of the killing, their relatives abroad knew it was him before they did. The relatives said Piper would do odd jobs and was always willing to help out someone in need. 

When the Express visited the address given by police for Piper, we were told that he lived “with a woman” in Laventille and used to visit the Chaconia Drive, Morvant home.

Residents said Piper was a quiet man who would probably run at the sound of a gunshot.

 They said he was never disrespectful in anyway towards them and are puzzled as to who or why anyone would want him dead. 

In an e-mail sent to Caribbean Communications Network, the parent company of the Express, Piper’s sister Sharon Piper, who lives in Canada, said her brother was a patriot. 

“Michael was a victim, but more important, Michael was a son, brother to eight siblings, a father of three, grandfather to seven children and an uncle to 22 nieces and nephews. No matter what hand he was dealt, he kept his sense of humour. He was humble, loving, caring and patient. He loved Trinidad...so much in fact he chose to stay there while the majority of his family was in Canada. He wrote just the other day on his Facebook page, how proud he was of his homeland, despite its shortcomings and overwhelming violence. That same gruesome violence that would take his life days later after writing about the country he loved so much,” she wrote.

Piper said the family have had their hearts ripped out with the passing of her brother and the world has lost an amazing, wonderful person who just started to live his life.

Homicide detectives are continuing investigations. 

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