ECONOMYNEXT – The body of a police officer found inside a rooftop water tank at a government hospital in Sri Lanka 51 days after his disappearance has been sent to the government analyst to determine the cause of death, police said.
Police media spokesman Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Nihal Thalduwa told EconomyNext on Wednesday (03) that the dead sergeant had arrived at the Gampola hospital, in the Kandy district, on September 08 to receive treatment for an illness.
He had disappeared that same day, and his body was found on last Friday (29) in a water tank 40 feet above ground at the same hospital.
Thalduwa said the sergeant had previously contracted COVID-19 and had recovered but arrived at the hospital when he started to show symptoms again. A PCR test taken on September 08 had come back negative, the spokesman said.
“Some days ago, hospital staff noticed a foul smell coming from the water tank. That was when they discovered the body,” Thalduwa said.
The cause of death has yet to be determined, he added.
“Nothing has been decided. It is unlikely to have been a murder because you can’t kill someone and take him up to a tank 40 feet above ground in an open, crowded area.
“We cannot know whether it was a suicide or something else either, until the government analyst’s report comes in,” he said, noting that the circumstances of the sergeant’s death were suspicious.
Media reports said the water from the tank was consumed by many people the entire period the body was in the tank. However, Thalduwa said, there have been no cases of people getting sick as a resut.
A spokesperson for the hospital was unavailable for comment. (Colombo/Nov03/2021)