Relative: Body in Barrackpore river is not prison officer

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Missing prison officer Alexander Johnson –

DESPITE having no leads on the disappearance of 35-year-old prison officer Alexander Johnson, his relatives are confident the body found floating in a river in Barrackpore on Wednesday is not him.

“We are waiting to hear good news, like maybe a phone call from him. We still do not know where he is, but he is alive,” a close female relative told Newsday on Thursday.

Johnson from Cumuto Trace North, Barrackpore, was last seen at the family’s home at around 9.30 am on January 17, wearing a brown T-shirt and black shorts.

The father of four was last assigned to the Eastern Correctional and Rehabilitation Centre in Santa Rosa and has almost four years of service.

On January 24, a body was spotted floating in the river off the Oropouche Trace North. The Barrackpore police got a tip-off, and Cpl Khallie and other officers went to the river at around 2.30 pm and found the body.

Homicide Bureau of Investigations (Region III) police also visited the scene and gathered evidence. Due to its state, police could not determine the ethnicity or whether the body was male or female. The left middle finger appeared to have been amputated. The body was naked.

Johnson’s relative added that when the news broke, people began calling relatives non-stop, trying to link his disappearance to the body. “The phones started to blow up. We did not get frightened or anything because we know he is not dead. That was not him,” she added.

The police are expected to use DNA tests to try to identify the body.

After the body is identified, an autopsy is expected to be done at the Forensic Sciences Centre in St James. Investigations are ongoing.

Anyone with information on Johnson’s whereabouts or the identity of the body found can call the Barrackpore police station at 654-0609 or the nearest police station.

People can also call the police at 555, 999 or Crime Stoppers at 800-TIPS (8477).