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Kin of ‘charcoal’ suicide seek autopsy waiver

14 April 2016

By Vir B. Lumicao

Relatives of a Filipino domestic worker who apparently committed suicide because of financial problems have reportedly asked for a waiver of a police autopsy on the body so it could be brought home sooner.
The mother of Janice, the victim, was expected to arrive on Jan. 13 to fetch the remains.
Janice was found dead in an empty luxury flat in Kowloon City on Jan. 6, with burnt charcoal nearby.
Vice Consul Alex Vallespin, acting head of the assistance to nationals section of the Consulate, told The SUN about the relatives’ desire to dispense with the autopsy.
The autopsy is a standard procedure for “reportable” deaths – or those not due to natural  causes - in Hong Kong unless the family personally applies for a waiver with the coroner.
The police has initially classified the case as “dead body found”.
According to the Police Public Relations Branch the victim’s body would be autopsied to find out the exact cause of death.
The police report indicates that Janice’s body was found by her employer inside the washroom of a unit in Earl Gardens, Kowloon City, at 10:13 am on Jan. 13.
When police went to check, they found the victim lying on the washroom floor beside a pile of burning charcoal.
The employer reportedly told police that before her death, the victim was having financial problems.
According to the Consulate, Janice had been employed for almost six years as a domestic helper who also drove for the employer’s family.
She took over the position when her predecessor, who had served the same employer for 16 years, returned home for good.
The employer has arranged for the victim’s mother and the former driver to come to Hong Kong to fetch the body.

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