Investigation draws to close
A CRIMINAL investigation into a mortuary mix-up should be completed within a "few weeks", South Yorkshire Police have confirmed.
Christopher Alder's body was discovered in Hull Royal Infirmary's mortuary in November last year, 11 years after his family believed they had laid him to rest following his death in police custody in 1998.
An exhumation of his grave in Hull's Northern Cemetery earlier this year confirmed Grace Kamara, 77, had been buried in his place.
The criminal investigation was launched shortly after the mistake came to light and has been going on for about a year now.
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The two officers flew out to Australia in December after South Yorkshire Police successfully concluded months of negotiations with Australian federal police and the Australian High Commission.
The police inquiry is determining whether there has been misconduct in public office.
Detective Superintendent Richard Fewkes, heading the investigation for South Yorkshire Police, said: "The police investigation into the mix-up of the bodies of Grace Kamara and Christopher Alder continues following inquiries that were made in Australia.
"It is anticipated that these will be finalised in a few weeks.
"Officers will then prepare a report for consideration by the Crown Prosecution Service."
Christopher's sister Janet Alder said: "I welcome the news the investigation is nearly completed.
"Having spoken to the mortuary staff in Australia, I believe they are speaking to the current mortuary workers again.
"I still think the investigation will be a whitewash.
"I think they will say nobody knew about the mix-up and there is no evidence it was done intentionally.
"I would love to be proved wrong but I can only see history repeating itself."
Christopher, a father of two, died face-down in custody at Queens Gardens police station on April 1, 1998, with his hands cuffed behind his back.
A post mortem failed to establish the cause of death.
After an inquest returned a verdict of unlawful killing, five police officers stood trial for manslaughter, along with misconduct charges.
However, the case collapsed and the officers were cleared.