A PRIVATE autopsy on Tuesday has revealed that court clerk Andrea Bharatt died from blunt force trauma injuries to her head.
Whether these injuries were caused by a wilful physical attack, by her falling or by her being thrown down a precipice remains a mystery.
The autopsy – done a day after an initial examination proved inconclusive – was performed by Prof Hubert Daisley at Boodoo's Funeral Home in Cunupia.
The first autopsy was done at the Forensic Sciences Centre in St James but no cause of death could be ascertained owing to the advanced state of decomposition of the body. Blood and tissue samples were taken for further tests and the body released to the funeral home.
Daisley was reluctant to speak when contacted by Newsday for a comment.
“I don’t really speak about my findings to anybody else except the immediate family,” he said before advising Newsday to speak with Bharatt's relatives.
However, sources present at the autopsy on Tuesday confirmed that Daisley's report indicated that blunt force trauma to the head is what caused Bharatt's death.
Social activist Inshan Ishmael released a video recording via his Facebook page at 1.30 pm, in which he revealed the findings of the second autopsy. It was Ishmael and restaurateur Jenny Sharma who, along with other concerned private citizens, approached the Bharatt family offering to pay for a private second autopsy.
In the video, Ishmael said Daisley's autopsy showed there was bleeding on the inside of Bharatt's skull. “Basically, she died from internal haemorrhage and when she got hit to the head, she fell backward. And what happened is that her skull fractured, and she died,” Ishmael said, while reiterating he was no medical expert.
There has been uncertainty on whether or not the findings of a private autopsy could form the basis of a criminal charge, but multiple legal sources told Newsday that such findings can be used by investigators to build a case once the pathologist is registered with the Medical Board. Sources said the Bharatt family must make the report available to the police.
When Newsday visited the funeral home on Tuesday, Bharatt's father Randolph was nowhere to be seen. He was at the Forensic Sciences Centre in St James on Monday when the initial autopsy was done.
Contacted on Tuesday for a comment, a weary-sounding Bharatt said now was not a good time for the family and he preferred not to comment on the findings of the private autopsy.
“There is no news here, I'm sorry,” he said before ending the call.
Andrea Bharatt, who worked at the Arima Magistrates’ Court, was found dead on February 4, at the foot of a precipice in the Heights of Aripo after being kidnapped on January 28. She was last seen entering a car which she thought was a taxi on King Street in Arima. The car was later found to be outfitted with false "H" licence plates.
In the wake of her kidnapping and murder, several people, including a woman, were arrested. Two suspects died in police custody.
The first was Andrew Morris, who was arrested on January 31 and died on February 1. Police claimed he fell from a chair after refusing food and treatment at the Arima General Hospital.
The second suspect, Joel Belcon, was said to have over 70 charges against him and died on Monday afternoon at the Intensive Care Unit of the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex in Mt Hope, where he was taken after being injured while reportedly resisting arrest.