Wednesday, June 12, 2019
By Morgan Adderley
Tribune Staff Reporter
PRIME Minister Dr Hubert Minnis is assuring the families of the two young men who were found dead in Turin, Italy, last week that the government is doing “everything it can” to ensure that their bodies are returned to The Bahamas “as soon as possible”.
Offering his sincerest condolences to the families, Dr Minnis also underscored that government officials are actively handling this matter and avidly following the investigation in Italy.
The bodies of Alrae Ramsey, 29, and Blair John, 28, were found in the Po River in Turin on June 4 and 5 respectively. According to some Italian news outlets, results of the autopsies conducted Monday confirm both men died as a result of drowning.
However, John’s family has told The Tribune they have rejected the autopsy’s findings and are waiting for CCTV evidence that could give better insight into the situation.
“On behalf of the Bahamian people and government of The Bahamas, I extend my deepest and heartfelt condolences to the families of Bahamians Alrae Ramsey and Blair John, who were found dead in Turin, Italy, under tragic circumstances,” Dr Minnis said.
“I spoke with the Ramsey and John families at the weekend and assured them that the government is doing everything it can to ensure that the remains of their loved ones are returned home to The Bahamas as soon as possible.”
Dr Minnis added that as a father, he cannot imagine the “unspeakable pain” these young men’s parents are experiencing.
He went on to outline the efforts being made by government officials on the case.
“From the outset, I have been in regular communication with the Minister of Foreign Affairs Darren Henfield,” Dr Minnis said. “The ministry and its representatives are carefully and diligently handling this very sensitive matter.
“I note the reports received from His Excellency Ellison E Greenslade, high commissioner of The Bahamas to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, who has indicated that he is carefully following the investigation into the deaths of Mr Ramsey and Mr John. High Commissioner Greenslade, a former commissioner of police, was dispatched to Italy on Saturday, 8 June, to make further inquiries into the circumstances surrounding the deaths.
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will continue to provide regular updates to the families and the public on these tragic circumstances.
“I ask the nation to please keep the Ramsey and John families in their thoughts and prayers during this very difficult time,” the statement concludes.
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.