POLICE in South Yorkshire are to investigate after the body of a former soldier who died in police custody was found in a mortuary more than a decade after he was believed to have been buried.
Christopher Alder, aged 37, choked to death while handcuffed and lying on the floor of a police station in Hull in April 1998.
His family thought he had been buried but it is now believed the body of Hull pensioner Grace Kamara was laid to rest instead.
The OAP died from natural causes in 1999 but her burial was delayed and was due to go ahead this month, but when family and friends asked to see her body Mr Alder’s remains were found in the mortuary instead.
Hull City Council has apologised and launched an investigation, bringing in South Yorkshire Police as an outside force to carry out the probe.
Humberside Police chief constable Tim Hollis said the investigation is to be carried out by the South Yorkshire force due to the sensitive history of the case.
Mr Hollis said: “It is my decision to invite South Yorkshire Police to provide a team of officers to undertake any necessary investigation into the circumstances that have come to light.
“On a personal note, my thoughts are with the family of Mrs Kamara who, at this time, still do not know the whereabouts of her body and to Christopher Alder’s family who have now been informed that Christopher’s body was not buried, as they believed, in November 2000.
“Officers from South Yorkshire Police will conduct the investigation, on behalf of Humberside Police.
“This investigation will examine the circumstances surrounding the retention and safe keeping of the bodies of Christopher Alder and Grace Kamara and their subsequent release for interment.”