23 Feb 2006

Fiji police confident a logical explanation for bodies' disappearance will emerge

2:33 pm on 23 February 2006

Fiji police says its highly unlikely that witchcraft is behind the disappearance of two babies from the Lautoka Hospital morgue.

The Fiji Sun says doctors at the hospital fear that the bodies of the premature babies could be used for witchcraft and relatives believe a cult is operating from the premises.

Their bodies were discovered missing earlier this week when relatives called at the mortuary to collect them for burial.

The police commissioner, Andrew Hughes says a team of detectives is currently interviewing all hospital staff involved and he believes there will be a logical explanation in the end.

"There have been a number of other instances in the past where these issues of witchcraft have come up and we've been able to prove that these claims are false. I can't offer an explanation at this point in time as to why anyone would want to take the bodies of two babies..our investigators keep an open mind and I'm sure as they trawl through the facts and evidence that a clearer picture will emerge."

Meanwhile the acting general manager of the hospital, Dr Eloni Tora, says policies surrounding the safekeeping of bodies in the morgue are being reinforced.