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July 24, 2014
Star News


73-Y-O FALLS INTO 170 ft CAVE - Body still not recovered
Bjorn Burke, Staff Reporter

Today, authorities will continue their attempts to remove the body of an elderly man from a 170ft deep chasm a week after its discovery in Retirement, St Elizabeth.

He has been identified as 73-year-old Aston Thompson of a Retirement, St Elizabeth, address.

Thompson was reportedly last seen at a shop in his community on July 12, and reported missing to the police by family members on July 13. On July 20, a week after, Thompson was reported missing. The grim discovery was made by residents who reportedly smelled an odour and summoned police personnel to the scene.

So far, investigations suggest that Thompson's death may have been accidental. The elderly man, who reportedly suffered from Alzheimer's disease, is believed to have wandered from his home into nearby woodlands, later falling to his death.

"We cannot rule out foul play, that is why we're making another effort tomorrow to go down again to see if we can get the body. When we went down there on Monday night, they saw the body, but the body was in a decomposed state," said Sergeant C Reid, sub-officer attached to the Maggoty Police Station.

Previous attempts by the personnel from the Santa Cruz Fire Brigade to assist in removing the body from the chasm proved futile. As a last-ditch effort, the police, alongside members of the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF), will continue to work assiduously to put an end to the week-long ordeal.

"Having gone there, our last resort is to ask the army (for assistance) because as the law states, once a body is found, it must come up to find out what is the cause of death. So we are having that challenge. And the challenge is that, to go down a 170ft in a chasm, a cave or a precipice, it is an onerous task," Reid explained.

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