Grave in body mix-up scandal will be dug up in bid to solve mystery

Christopher Alder
Christopher Alder
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A GRAVE at the centre of a body mix-up scandal in Hull is to be dug up between dusk on Tuesday, February 21, and dawn the next day.

The disinterment of the plot in Northern Cemetery will establish who was wrongly buried in the grave of Christopher Alder, 37, a Falklands veteran who died in police custody in 1998.

Although his funeral took place in 2000, his body was found in a mortuary last November and it is suspected that Grace Kamara, 77, a Nigerian woman who died of natural causes in 1999, was buried in his place.

The blunder was revealed when Mrs Kamara’s family asked to see her body and mortuary staff could not find it.

Instead a body which has since been identified by DNA tests as Mr Alder’s was discovered where Mrs Kamara’s corpse was supposed to have been stored.

A criminal inquiry is being conducted by South Yorkshire Police.

Hull Council chief executive Nicola Yates said: “This is a further step to discovering the truth of the distressing events which occurred in 2000. We remain committed to achieving a resolution for the families concerned and will ensure that the utmost care and sensitivity is used in complying with the terms of the exhumation licence.

“Our main consideration continues to be the families concerned and those of others at rest in the council’s cemeteries. South Yorkshire Police continue to support the families of Grace Kamara and Christopher Alder and we will be contacting any other families affected by the work we need to carry out.

“As we have indicated previously, further information will be limited out of respect for those most affected by these terrible events.”

Mr Alder’s sister Janet, 50, said she did not plan to attend the exhumation, but was disappointed she had not been told of the date before the council statement was issued.

“Why are they not keeping everybody informed?” she said.