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Soldier's funeral postponed for more tests

By Joel Julien joel.julien@trinidadexpress.com

THE FUNERAL service for murdered soldier Lance Corporal Curtis Marshall originally scheduled for today has been postponed because further forensic tests need to be conducted by pathologist Dr Hubert Daisley.

At 11. 40 p.m. on December 29 last year Marshall was found lying unconscious in the vicinity of the Clothing and Equipment Stores at Defence Force Headquarters, Chaguaramas.

Marshall, 31, was rushed via ambulance to the Seventh Day Adventist Hospital in Cocorite where he was eventually pronounced dead.

On Monday an autopsy conducted at the Forensic Science Centre, Federation Park by pathologist Dr Eastlyn McDonald-Burris stated Marshall's death was due to strangulation.

On Tuesday the preliminary results of a second autopsy conducted at the S D Simpson Memorial Funeral Chapel in Laventille by Dr Hubert Daisley confirmed the results of the first autopsy.

Daisley however has not presented his final autopsy report as yet and is conducting his investigations.

On Wednesday Daisley visited the TTDF headquarters to merge his "scientific findings with physical evidence".

On that day it was announced that Marshall would be laid to rest today with full military rites.

Daisley however has called for the funeral service to be postponed as he wants to conduct further tests on Marshall.

Daisley's main focus is said to be Marshall's head injuries.

Marshall's body is being housed at the S D Simpson Memorial Funeral Chapel in Laventille.

Daisley is expected to continue his tests there today.

Deputy Police Commissioner Mervyn Richardson, speaking at the police press briefing yesterday, said the investigations into the matter were "moving ahead at pace".

"That investigation is moving ahead at pace. I can tell you that we spent the whole day there (Wednesday) interviewing members of the Defence Force and other persons and associates of the deceased," Richardson said.

"We are doing all within our powers we are working day and night with the assistance of the Defence Force," he said.

"As recent as 9.30 (yesterday) morning I received a call from (Chief of Defence Staff) Brigadier (Kenrick) Maharaj who has opened the Defence Force to the Police Service in order that we complete this investigation in the quickest possible time; we are doing just that," Richardson said.

Richardson said it was "too early" for the police to make a determination as to what caused Marshall's murder.

"Little too early to talk about findings we are exploring to find. We are exploring at this time. A team of officers under Superintendent Harry and acting superintendent Nanan are exploring all possibilities at this time," he said.

Marshall's wife, Ashlyn John-Marshall, yesterday spoke for the first time.

John-Marshall said her five-year-old daughter, Curtlyn, was the hardest hit by the tragedy.

"Our (her family's) plan was to go to service and come home and drop fireworks. That was our plan for the Old Year's night," John-Marshall said.

"Whenever this funeral takes place I know I will have my task because when everybody goes home and she (Curtlyn) realises that her daddy is not coming back I do not know what I will do," she said.

"I do not know what I will do without him. We had no problems; we were happy," John-Marshall said.

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