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Cop: Prints used to ID body


Maria Bradshaw

Cop: Prints used to ID body

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DONAVERE CODRINGTON’S body was the first to be pulled from the wreckage at Arch Cot Terrace, Brittons Hill, St Michael.
Scenes of Crime Police Inspector Roderick Walcott told the Coroner’s Court on Monday that the body was found towards the eastern side of a cave, under rubble and car parts on August 29, three days after the Shalom Apartment complex collapsed.
He said both legs were broken and the face decomposed.
The other four bodies, he said, were found the next day and all were decomposed and showed evidence of severe crushing.
The inspector said a sample of residue was taken from the scene and sent to the lab to check for any material such as explosives.
He said he was only able to measure the area where Donavere’s body was found and that was 54 feet below ground level. No measurements were obtained in relation to the other bodies because the ground was still moving, Inspector Walcott said.
In relation to the identification of Donavere’s body, the inspector told the court that “a decision was made to use whatever means was available to identify the body”.
He said the victim was known to the police and as a result his fingerprints were on file. The prints which were taken from the body, he said, were a positive match to the prints the police had on file.
When asked by Queen’s Counsel Sir Richard Cheltenham if the police were still able to obtain fingerprints from the body even though it was decomposed, Walcott said that the last part of the body to decompose was the ridge pattern of the fingers. He said it was not necessary to obtain prints from all ten fingers in order to make a positive identification.
He added that that there was no margin of error in the testing of fingerprints. The error, he said, would have to be made by the examiner.

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