Minnis sends condolences on death of two Bahamians in Italy
Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis yesterday extended condolences to the families of two Bahamian men who were found dead in a river in Turin, Italy.
“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,” he said in a statement.
Minnis said he has spoken with both families to assure 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”.
“As a father I cannot imagine the unspeakable pain that the parents of these young men are going through,” he said.
The body of Bahamian diplomat Alrae Ramsey, 29, was pulled from the Po River, in Turin, on June 4. One day later, Ramsey’s friend, Blair John, 28, was found in the same body of water.
The autopsy of the coroner, Paola Rapetti, will determine the exact cause of death. Toxicology examinations are also being conducted to determine whether the two had ingested alcohol or drugs.
An initial forensic medical examination indicated that they would’ve been in the river for two to three days, according to reports.
Ramsey, who was on academic leave, was employed with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs since December 9, 2013.
He was posted at The Bahamas Embassy in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, as third secretary/vice-consul in 2016-2017.
Last year, he was granted an in-service award to pursue a one-year postgraduate diploma program in diplomacy/international relations and languages at the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna in Austria for the period September 2018 to June 2019.
John was a doctoral candidate in psychology at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax, Canada.
He traveled to Turin to make a presentation at a psychology conference on behalf of the university.
Minnis said that he has been in regular communication with Minister of Foreign Affairs Darren Henfield since the tragic news broke.
“The ministry and its representatives are carefully and diligently handling this very sensitive matter,” he said.
“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.”
Minnis said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will continue to provide updates to the families and the public.
“I ask the nation to please keep the Ramsey and John families in their thoughts and prayers during this very difficult time,” he said.