NASSAU, BAHAMAS – Anita Ramsey, the mother of foreign service officer Alrae Ramsey, 29, who was pulled from the Po River in Turin, Italy, two weeks ago, said yesterday that she expects her son’s body to be returned to The Bahamas by the end of this week.
Speaking to Eyewitness News Online, Anita said her family spoke to Italian officials yesterday morning and were made to understand that her son’s body and that of Blair John, 28, who was recovered from the same river on June 5, will be released to Bahamian officials.
Asked whether Italian officials provided any update on their investigation into the deaths, Anita said, “I do not know as I am waiting on it — the latest update from them. When the body comes, I’ll get the death certificate and all of that.”
She continued, “The actual body, as far as I am aware, is coming; no cremation.”
Autopsies were performed on both men.
High Commissioner of The Bahamas to the United Kingdom Ellison Greenslade said the autopsies were completed last Monday.
Initial forensic medical examination indicated that the men were in the river for two to three days, according to international reports.
According to various Italian media reports, the initial findings of the autopsy, performed by coronerPaola Rapetti, indicated that the men died from drowning.
A toxicological examination was also performed and is expected to shed light on whether the men ingested any substances such as alcohol or drugs.
Asked whether the return of her son’s body would help to bring some sense of closure to the two-week ordeal, she paused before saying, “I am doing the best I can, the best I can.”
When contacted Monday, Minister of Foreign Affairs Darren Henfield said there was no more information that “we wish to share outside of the families for now”.
Last week, Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis extended condolences to the families.
He expressed confidence in the Italian authorities’ ability to investigate the deaths.
Ramsey was employed with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs since December 9, 2013.
He was posted at The Bahamas Embassy in Port-au-Prince, Haiti as third secretary/vice-consul in 2016-2017.
He was granted an in-service award to pursue a one-year postgraduate diploma program in diplomacy/international relations and languages at the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna in Austria last year for the period: September 2018 to June 2019.
John, a 2009 St. Augustine’s College graduate, had almost completed his Ph.D in psychology at Saint Mary’s University in Nova Scotia, Canada.
He traveled to Turin to make a presentation at a psychology conference on behalf of the university, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
John, however, never presented the research.
According to relatives, he attended day one of the conference, but did not show up on May 31 or June 1, according to his mother, Cathleen Rahming, who said she was still trying her best to cope with the loss of her son.
John had a short stint in London to visit his sister before traveling to Turin.