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Deaths due to asphyxia

By Alexander Bruzual

An autopsy report into the deaths of ten-month-old Omari “Buba” Mayers, and his sister Keanna “Keke” Mayers whose bodies were found in Matura on Sunday, has revealed that the two children died as a result of asphyxia. 

However, suspicion has been raised as to what exactly caused the asphyxia, as the two bodies did not bear typical signs associated with the ingestion of herbicides. In fact, as it stands right now and until toxicology reports indicate otherwise, it is even possible that the two young children may have been smothered to death. 

This was confirmed yesterday by forensic pathologist Dr Valery Alexandrov during an interview with Express. Earlier that day, Dr Alexandrov had performed the autopsies on the two young children at the Forensic Science Centre in St James. 

“The bottom line is I didn’t come to any definitive conclusion today (Monday). This entire situation is a bit complicated. I can confirm that these children died as a result of asphyxia. However, there are about 16-types of asphyxia, and the signs we encountered during our examination today were non-specific. Initial reports, especially those in the media, have stated that the children were poisoned. Now in the cases of the typical poison, such as Lannate and Gramoxone, there is usually a strong odour of the herbicides that comes from the body. When I was doing the autopsy, I didn’t smell any odour coming from the bodies indicative of a poison. 

“Also, when conducting the autopsy, I didn’t see any alien substances in the stomach or oesophagus of the little children. The typical herbicides, when ingested, they colour the lining of a stomach with a green colour. Now there was some discolouration, but not enough  to convince me that a herbicide was indeed ingested. So I ended up taking several samples, from the stomach wall and its contents and from the oesophagus, and I intend to submit them for toxicological testing tomorrow (Tuesday),” Alexandrov revealed. 

He said he intends to make a special request for this report to be sped up, so that he can have a definite answer within seven days. 

He then revealed that Barry Karamath, the father of the two children, also died of asphyxia. 

However, he said in this situation, he was quite certain that Karamath did not ingest poison as being reported in the media. 

“His body may have been found next to a bottle of herbicide, but regarding the report of Karamath, he did not die of poisoning, but rather due to a lack of oxygen to his brain. Essentially, he strangled himself.  It was self inflicted ligature strangulation. So what he did was he used two tie straps which he placed around his neck, and pulled until he was unable to any more. 

“One of the straps was pulled so tightly that it was broken by the lock, but this strap was pulled to the circumference of his neck. The other he pulled until it was about seven centimetres less than the circumference of his neck. So essentially the locks were preventing blood flow. They were tightened enough to compress the jugular vein and carotid artery, and when you compress these two major vascular channels the blood stops going in and out of the brain,” Alexandrov said.

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