Friday 23 August 2019

Man's body brought back from holiday 'without a brain and half his heart' - family claims

Father-of-two Shawn Edmonds died after being restrained by hotel security

Shawn Edmonds (Photo: GoFundMe)
Shawn Edmonds (Photo: GoFundMe)

Chris Baynes

The body of a Canadian man who died after being restrained by hotel security in Costa Rica was returned to his family missing a brain and half his heart, relatives said.

Shawn Edmonds' mother has demanded a full investigation into the circumstances surrounding the sudden death of her 42-year-old son, who had been visiting the Central American island for a friend's wedding.

Shirley Hewitt said she still did not know what had killed her son at the resort where he was staying on Costa Rica's north-west coast last month.

Mr Edmonds, a carpenter and father of two daughters, is said to have been detained by four security guards after arguing with staff at Hotel Riu Guanacaste.

He was reportedly handcuffed and sat in a chair before losing consciousness and dying without being given medical help.

Police have not yet determined whether the death should be treated as suspicious.

Costa Rican authorities performed an autopsy on his body before it was flown back to Canada.

"They took his heart and brain out," Ms Hewitt told Canadian radio station 570 News. "They put [part of] his heart back in, but they did not put his brain back."

She told broadcaster Global News: "I have to lay him to rest and I know he's not whole. I know I have to live with that, but that's going to haunt me."

She added her son's body was severely bruised and he appeared to have suffered a damaged nose.

Ms Hewitt dismissed suggestions her son had suffered a heart attack.

“He was healthy... He’s never had a problem with his heart,” she said.

The Canadian chief coroner's office said it was performing a second autopsy at the request of Mr Edmonds' family.

Canada's foreign office said it was "working closely with local officials to gather more information and are providing consular assistance to the family and friends as required".

A friend of Mr Edmonds said he had been "so happy to go and to be a part of his best friends' wedding" in Costa Rica.

Kristen Botelho, writing on a GoFundMe page set up for Mr Edmonds' family, described him "a very loving, kind and caring man".

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