Autopsy on body found in Venezuela: Man’s throat slit

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

– File photo

An autopsy done in Venezuela on the body of a man found on March 2 reported that his throat had been slit.

The dead man, though yet to be identified, is believed to be David Seepaul, 60, one of five fishermen who went missing at sea after leaving Fullarton Beach in Cedros on February 24.

Newsday learnt the autopsy was done last week by forensic pathologist Dr Ramon Urbaneja in Maturin, in the Monagas State.

The body also had several stab wounds. The man is believed to have died on February 29.

Up to Tuesday, relatives were working with Venezuelans and local authorities to try to confirm the identity. The family is said to be on standby to go to Venezuela, accompanied by Coast Guard officers, to retrieve the body.

The clothes the man wore fitted the description of Seepaul’s.

A relative said, “We have not seen the body yet, so we cannot say for sure it is him.

“It is clothes. We know what he was wearing when he left. It looks like his clothes.

“The body was swollen. He is thin, but people say the salt water could have caused him to swell.

“If that is him, what happened to the rest of the men?”

On February 24, Seepaul, his son Davanand Seepaul, 35, Shiva Seepersad, 20, Jeremiah Pasqual, 19, and Braiyer Alexander Gonzalez Ali, 21, left Cedros in a vessel named Amanda.

A week later, on March 2, the body was found in the Caripito River (in the Monagas State) near Pedernales,in the Delta Amacuro State. On Tuesday, Seepersad’s mother, Pardatee Seepersad, told Newsday she has been attending nightly prayer services in the village for the missing men.

“Only God knows what happened. The family is worried. My mother (Ileen Rampersad) is taking it on. She took care of him from baby, and we all live in the same house.”

A Facebook post by the NGO Hunters Search and Rescue Team shared a photo of Seepaul wearing a jersey similar to the jersey on the corpse that was found in Venezuela. The page shared a photo of the body.

The post said both photos had been sent to the Coast Guard to help identify the body.

“Our team continues to work closely with all stakeholders, including the families involved, to have David Seepaul returned home. Patience and Prayer are required at this time,” it said.

Investigations are ongoing.