Autopsies reveal friends drowned

By Khrisna Russell

Deputy Chief Reporter

INITIAL reports from the autopsies of Alrae Ramsey and Blair John have added another layer of questions to the mystery of the men’s deaths.

According to some Italian news outlets, results of the autopsies conducted yesterday confirm both men died as a result of drowning.

There were also wounds on one of them that suggested his body was dragged, other reports say.

John’s mother Cathleen Rahming told The Tribune last week that he was a strong swimmer and fit.

His relatives, The Tribune was told, have rejected the autopsy findings and are waiting for CCTV evidence that could give better insight into the situation.

A source close to the matter told this newspaper that a third Bahamian was to meet both Ramsey and John in Italy, but he never made the trip due to an issue with a visa.

He allegedly booked the room at bed and breakfast, Via la Loggia 2 in Turin, where the men were staying.

Italian authorities first pulled the remains of Ramsey from the Po River in Turin, Italy last Tuesday. John’s corpse was recovered several hours after.

The developments came as Ellison Greenslade, high commissioner of the Bahamas to the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland, has been dispatched to Italy to make further inquiries into the circumstances surrounding the deaths.

The former police commissioner arrived in Italy on Saturday.

According to Italian news outlet Torino Today, there was also confusion over the men’s luggage. The translated article is below.

“Corpses Alraé Ramsey and Blair John both drowned, no signs of violence, corpses found in the river Po on 4 and 5 June 2019,” the Italian report read.

“Both Alraé Ramsey and Blair John, the two Bahamians of 29 and 28 years whose bodies were fished out of the Po River on 4 and 5 June 2019, both died. These are the first findings of the autopsy performed by the coroner Paola Rapetti, charged by prosecutors Giulia Rizzo and Enzo Bucarelli, who coordinate the investigations carried out by the police team of the police on their disappearance.

“The wounds found on one of the two bodies are not fatal and could even be the result of body dragging. Toxicological examinations are still in progress to establish whether the two had taken substances (poisons, alcohol, drugs) before ending up in the water.

“In the afternoon, the police also found their luggage. They had not been stolen but were simply in another locked room in the Via La Loggia bed & breakfast where the two had spent the last days of their lives.”

Another news agency Torino la Repubblica said of the suitcases: “The investigators of the police squad of the police station found in a closed room of the bed & breakfast, in via La Loggia 2, where the two friends lodged all the suitcases that seemed to have disappeared.

“And they are doing all the investigations to understand why they were moved and who moved them.”

It also said: “The two lived for a long time away and the trip to Italy had been an opportunity to get together. There should have been three of them, with a reservation for four nights in a bed & breakfast near the Lingotto, from 28 to 31 May. On June 1, Ramsey was supposed to return to Vienna - where he should have taken an exam - and the other to Canada, where he lived. A third friend who had booked and paid for the room with his credit card from Minnesota where he lives had changed plans and never showed up at the hotel. The Bahamian community does not believe in the incident hypothesis.”

However, another Italian news source claimed their suitcases were found a few hundred metres away from the park in a trash bin.

Ramsey, a foreign service officer on study leave in Vienna, was reportedly in Turin on a break. He and his friend, John, were staying at a bed and breakfast establishment at Via la Loggia 2 in Turin.

John, a 28-year-old Saint Mary’s University graduate student, was there to attend a psychology conference.

The men both attended the same high school, Saint Augustine’s College in New Providence.