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Marshall's funeral to go ahead today

By Gyasi Gonzales gyasi.gonzales@trinidadexpress.com

LANCE CORPORAL Curtis Marshall will be buried today following a funeral service at 2.30 p.m. at the Church of Christ on Ryan Street in San Juan under full military rites.

And Deputy Commissioner of Police Mervyn Richardson said that as far as the Police Service was concerned the investigation into Marshall's death was ongoing.

"Until I get an official document from the Forensic Science Centre we will continue to treat this matter as a homicide and investigate and we will continue our investigation," said DCP Richardson in a telephone interview.

Marshall's case began making headlines following the discovery of the Trinidad and Tobago Defence Force soldier lying on the floor of Defence Force Headquarters, Chaguaramas on Saturday December 29 at 11.30 p.m.

He was rushed to the Seventh Day Adventist Hospital in Cocorite, where he was pronounced dead two hours after being admitted.

On December 31, a post-mortem was done by Dr Eastlyn McDonald-Burris at Forensic Science Centre in Federation Park and she determined that the 30-year-old father of one had been strangled.

The family demanded a second opinion and

Dr Hubert Daisley, was contracted to examine the body again.

He initially agreed with the findings of the first autopsy and concluded that the soldier died as result of being strangled.

On Thursday (January 3), it was announced that Marshall's funeral was postponed as Daisley wanted to conduct further forensic tests in order to complete his autopsy report.

But the Marshall family's week was thrown into further disarray following Daisley's examination, when he told them that his preliminary findings were wrong and that Marshall died as a result of an asthma attack.

But then there was even more confusion for Marshall's family when Forensic Pathologist, Dr Valerie Alexandrov got involved, declaring that the soldier had been strangled.

Alexandrov said he had witnessed the first post-mortem examination of Marshall's body at the Forensic Science Centre on December 31, when he was contacted by McDonald-Burris, who requested a second pair of eyes while carrying out the initial autopsy.

He said that when he looked at the body himself he found that Marshall's Adam's Apple had been fractured and that "the breaking or fracturing of this bone is a sure indication that a person is strangled".

In yesterday's Sunday Express, Health Minister Dr Fuad Khan said the discrepancies in the autopsy reports arose because neither Daisley nor McDonald-Burris was qualified as forensic pathologists as far as the Medical Board was concerned.

"As far as I am aware, the only doctor who is a forensic pathologist in this country, being registered with the Medical Board, is Dr (Valery) Alexandrov," said Khan.

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