Rancagua, Chile Servicio Médico Legal boss, Juan Díaz, suspended on Juanita Carey case

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Juanita Carey was killed in Pichilemu, after the February 27 earthquake.
Image: Pichilemu.

The Servicio Médico Legal (in Spanish, Legal Medical Service) of Rancagua, Chile boss, Juan Díaz Menares, was suspended from his job for using a public bus to transport the body of three-year-old Juanita Carey.

The decision was made by the administrative lawyer in the case, Hernán Rojas, who is heading the investigation into the irregular move of the body. Díaz defends the sending of the body via a public bus, ensuring that "the procedure was right, because it was sent as it is established". "There's an aberrant situation at a national level, not just this", said Díaz; "It is always done [...] we are a centralized service, we don't rule ourselves."

"Everything that comes out of here, biological or bony samples, as in this case, go out from the safekeeping chain", he also said. He confirmed that he was not going to resign, as Radio Cooperativa had reported.

Last Wednesday, it was revealed that the body of the child, who died in Pichilemu after the February 27 catastrophe, stayed three nights in a storage area of bus company Pullman Cargo. A Pullman Cargo representative reported to Radio Cooperativa that the body was sent last Friday from Pichilemu to Santiago via bus, and that the container did not have any description of what it contained, beyond the word "fragile". They also said that "it was not even paid for express mail, which would have allowed the delivery to occur on Saturday, not last Monday".

The body of the child was cremated Wednesday, and her ashes were buried in Santiago, Chile.

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