POLICE say they were unable to identify the next of kin of a Russian tourist who died here some three months ago, despite making contacts through INTERPOL.
And Commissioner of Police Matthew Varley said this was why the body was kept at the hospital morgue for the last three months.
“There was a delay in the burial of this 60-year-old Russian because we could not identify his next of kin in Russia,” Mr Varley told reporters, Friday.
The body was finally buried on Thursday although police were unable to locate relatives of the deceased.
“This is a very unusual situation because ordinarily in cases of death in Honiara, there is usually next of kin or family members who come forward to assist and claim the body,” Mr Varley said.
“In this case that has not happened. There is no next of kin and we were unable to identify any relative of the diseased who wanted to make contact to take position of the body,” he added.
“Unfortunately it seems the 60 year old man came to Honiara six months ago and it seems from medical assessment his death was of natural causes.
“In fact from report he died of heart of attack.
“We have tried to do notification through INTERPOL in Russia but were unsuccessful in identifying the next of kin and that is the main reason for the delay in terms of his burial,” he said.
Mr Varley said it is pretty gruesome, unfortunate and tragic but at some point they have to make a decision that they no longer hope to identify relatives and made the decision last week to proceed with the burial.
He said the body was prepared in such a way that in future if relatives were identified and they want to come and claim the body, they can get the remains.
The police chief added they did not have any details, notification on his families and next of kin but his immigration history shows he has been travelling around the world for quite sometimes before coming to the Solomon Islands.
He said the police, along with Immigration, are working with Foreign Affairs for diplomatic notification to be sent to the government of Russian.
He added the body was given a proper burial with the support of the Honiara City Council.
The Russian arrived in Honiara in June this year and was reported to have lived outside the Honiara International Airport in a tent for few days.
By CHARLES KADAMANA