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Family disputes drowning of prison escapee

Trinidad Express / Unil Phillip, the Carrera Island Prison ‘escapee’ found floating in the Gulf of Paria on Monday, died from drowning.

That is according to an autopsy performed by pathologist Dr Hughvon Des Vignes at the Forensic Science Centre in St James on Tuesday.

Phillip’s relatives were also told that his left arm may have been severed by a propeller of a passing boat.

But his relatives are not satisfied.

A male relative who asked not to be identified said he did not believe the autopsy report.

The relative who witnessed the autopsy said he was not convinced that a propeller would severe the man’s arm without cutting other parts of his body.

“And there was a puncture wound, similar to a stab, in his ribs and I pointed that out too. But the pathologist said it was not a stab. I cannot understand how a propeller can just pass and cut off the arm. It would have cut other parts of the body, his face and chest,” he said.

Phillip who was serving a term for possession of gun and ammunition was identified by a tattoo of a 9mm firearm on his chest.

His bloated corpse was sighted near Platform 14 in Trinmar’s North Field on Monday morning.

He was dressed in a white vest and black shorts and lying face down in the water.

Prison officers said Phillip went missing from Carrera Island Prison last week. Relatives do not believe he tried to escape, however, as he only had approximately one more year to serve on his sentence.

They said Phillip, 39, of Rio Claro may have been hurt while in custody.

The relative said Phillip would often speak of the treatment he received from prison officers and believed he would not make it off the island alive.

Funeral arrangements have not been finalised, the Express was told, as the body was not yet been released to his family.

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