x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Investigation into deaths of mother and baby halted

Investigations in Sri Lanka into the deaths of the Emirati woman and her baby have been blocked because no autopsies were carried out, police say.

DUBAI // Investigations into the deaths of an Emirati woman and her baby son in Colombo last month have been blocked because autopsies were not conducted, Sri Lankan police say.

Dalal Ali Saif Obaid Al Mazroui, 22, and her son Ali Mohammed Al Mazroui, 14 months, died on a family holiday in Sri Lanka almost 17 hours after they landed in Colombo.

The husband and father, Mohammed Ali Obaid Al Mazroui, 23, a policeman from Wadi Koob in Ras Al Khaimah, was also admitted to hospital but recovered. He has since returned to RAK.

Although traces of pesticide were found in the air of their hotel room, there were no post-mortem examinations of the mother and child.

"Samples of the air taken from the room where they stayed found traces of pesticide but we cannot find out whether it caused the death," said Ajith Rohana, a spokesman for the Sri Lankan police.

"We cannot find out what caused their death due to lack of an autopsy. It is difficult to conduct investigations and take legal action due to lack of evidence."

The UAE Embassy in Colombo reported the deaths were a result of severe food poisoning, but police in the Sri Lankan capital said they were investigating whether pesticides sprayed in the room next to the Al Mazrouis' might have been the cause.

The hospital said the family did not eat anything in Sri Lanka. Their last meal was on the airplane and they also ate some food they brought with them from home.

Although Sri Lankan law demands a post-mortem examination in cases of sudden or suspicious death, the bodies were handed over after a request by relatives and UAE embassy officials in Sri Lanka.

frahman@thenational.ae