Exclusive | Grave and body missing near Riversdale

Members of a family in St. Catherine are outraged over what they say is the disappearance of the concrete grave in which their 96-year-old matriarch, Alberta Rowe, was buried 26 years ago – on April 16, 1995.

Her remains also seem to be missing.

Marcia Thomas, a grand-daughter of the deceased, stated that the land on which Rowe was buried is owned by one of her sons, who is said to be seriously ill.

At the time the senior citizen died, the son reportedly gave permission for her to be buried on his property at Crawl Road in Harewood district, not far from Riversdale.

However, it is said that the son or his common-law-wife is now in the process of selling the land.

“The problem is that the person buying the land saw the grave on it and want to pay less money for it. I understand it is going through the bank,” Thomas told The Beacon. “The person selling want the whole of the money. So the person buying it tell them they can go through parish council (St. Catherine Municipal Corporation) and get the grave removed.”

Thomas further stated that, at one point, the common-law-wife contacted a daughter of the deceased and expressed a desire to have the grave removed from the property

She was told to instead speak with her common-law-husband, considering that he was the one who allowed the burial of his mother to take place on the said property.

Since then, the other relatives have not heard from the common-law-wife, they said.

Thomas stated that she got information last week Wednesday night, July 7, that the grave is no longer where it was built. She went to the location the following day and was able to confirm what she had heard.

“I went where the grave used to be, and it is no longer there,” Thomas commented.

She said dirt was used to fill the hole that was dug to facilitate burial. Plants have started to grow in the area, suggesting that the grave was removed probably over a month ago.

Thomas told The Beacon that, after she realized that her grandmother’s grave was nowhere in sight, she visited Riversdale Police Station and the St. Catherine Municipal Corporation.

According to her, the Corporation denied giving anyone permission to exhume the said body.

“I went to the parish council (municipal corporation); parish council did not [give permission for exhumation],” Thomas said. “I went to parish council last week Friday, and it is parish council that called the Riversdale Police Station and told them to proceed [with their investigation].”

Thomas expressed disappointment that, although she went to Riversdale Police Station to report the matter a week ago, law enforcers there are yet to visit the site where her grandmother was buried. She is of the view that the police are giving the family the run-around.

“I went there from last week Thursday and today (Thursday) is one week,” she noted.

Thomas added that her family is devastated, and does not know where to locate its matriarch’s remains.

“Everybody is feeling down about it because we don’t know what happened,” she said, noting that her late grandmother has 13 children.

The Beacon, in the meantime, has been trying to get a response from the son who reportedly gave permission for his mother to be buried on his property. We also are attempting to contact the son’s common-law-wife, but calls to the two numbers provided for her have been going to voicemail.


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