THE sister of a man whose corpse was found in a morgue more than a decade after he was thought to have been buried says she feels like his body has been “abused”.
The body of Falklands veteran Christopher Alder, who died in police custody in 1998, was found at Hull Royal Infirmary last month in a bag marked with the name of Grace Kamara, 77, a Nigerian woman who died of natural causes in 1999.
It is thought Mrs Kamara’s body may have been buried in Mr Alder’s grave and Hull Council has now asked the Ministry of Justice for permission to exhume it.
Mr Alder’s sister Janet said: “On behalf of the Kamara family I know they want to find their loved one and on behalf of our family I know it’s essential for that grave to be exhumed.
“My feelings are very mixed due to the fact that (Laura) my brother’s daughter’s remains have been scattered over that grave.”
South Yorkshire Police have begun questioning witnesses as part of a criminal inquiry into the blunder, which was launched at the request of Humberside Police, in whose custody Mr Alder died.
Ms Alder said she hoped officers would carry out their inquiries quickly. She said: “The family has been suffering for 13 years and everybody needs to realise time is debilitating, especially after 13 years. I would ask them to do it as quickly as possible.”
She added: “We have had to watch our brother die in circumstances like that and nobody has been held accountable.
“It seems to me that his body has been abused. I find it very hard to accept somebody could mistake a female in her 70s for a 37-year-old man and Christopher was bald and Grace probably had hair.”
Det Supt Richard Fewkes, who is leading the inquiry, said: “The investigation continues to review, in detail, events that span a 13-and-a-half year period. As part of that, detectives are interviewing witnesses from a number of organisations. At this stage, it would not be appropriate to detail exactly what those witnesses are telling us.
“Hull City Council has submitted an application for the exhumation of the grave that was believed to have contained the body of Christopher Alder.
“They have undertaken that in full consultation with the South Yorkshire Police investigation team. If the application is granted, South Yorkshire Police will manage the exhumation as part of the criminal investigation.
“There are no timescales for this taking place.”