Samples sent to forensic lab

Woolmer's post-mortem inconclusive

Dileep Premachandran in Jamaica

March 20, 2007

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An ambulance is parked the Pakistan team hotel where Bob Woolmer was found unconscious in his hotel room © AFP
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Bob Woolmer's autopsy performed on Tuesday morning, almost 48 hours after his passing away, had inconclusive results, and the pathologist has asked for further tests before the cause of death can be pinpointed.

The autopsy, performed by Dr Ere Sheshiah, started at 9:35am, and was concluded by noon. Gill Woolmer, Bob's wife, was officially informed of the findings at 12:35pm, and the Jamaican police then met team officials to inform them of the autopsy findings.

With the pathologist unable to ascertain the cause of death, samples taken were sent for toxicology and histology tests. The results are awaited.

The Pakistan team is scheduled to leave Jamaica on Saturday and the Jamaican police are hoping that Woolmer's body can be flown out with them. Karl Angell, director of communication for the Jamaican Constabulary, asserted that the tests were being fast-tracked so that the matter could be cleared up at the earliest.

A press conference was organised by the Pakistan team management and the Jamaican police at 3:30 on Tuesday afternoon. Reading from a prepared statement, Pervez Mir, the team's media manager, spoke of how Murray Stevenson, the trainer, had gone to officially identify the body at the Kingston Public Hospital mortuary.

When asked what sort of timeframe we were looking at, Mark Shields, the deputy commissioner of police, said: "It depends on the results. As of now, we don't know the cause of death."

Shields was then asked if the inconclusive findings suggested that anything was amiss. "Not necessarily," he said. "Any sudden death is treated as suspicious till we can say otherwise. At this moment, we're not ruling out anything."

According to Colin Pinnock, the deputy superintendent who is the chief investigating officer, such occurrences were not uncommon. "It happens," he said. "The pathologist just wants to be absolutely sure. Samples have been sent to the forensic lab and the national lab."

The team's departure could conceivably be affected if the tests take time, and Mir and Talat Ali, the manager, will stay back if that's the case. "The team is disturbed," said Mir. "But we must move on."

Shields assured everyone that the investigation would be concluded as soon as possible, but quickly added: "We won't cut any corners either." For the moment, Woolmer's room at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel remains sealed, with the police not having handed it back to the hotel management.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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