Farmer mysteriously dies, police hastily rule out foul play

By Michelle Sutherland, Staff Reporter

A Salvadoran farmer was found dead by police on Wednesday in a drain along the Hummingbird highway; however, due to the advanced state of decomposition, police could not determine the cause of death but have already ruled out foul play.

Jose Romulo Cornejo, 42, of Sarawee village was found after 10:15 a.m., on Wednesday by officers responding to a report of a body found. He was dressed in long jeans pants and a brown T-shirt. Cornejo was seen lying face down inside a drain filled with water between miles three and four of the highway.

Just eleven hours later, however, police told the media that a post mortem was inconclusive and doctors could not determine a cause of death because the body had already reached the skeletonization phase of decomposition. With that, police declared that there was no foul play involved.
According to police, a medical officer determined that Cornejo had died a week prior to his discovery.

Police did not directly answer questions posed by the media as to why police had ruled out foul play if the post mortem results were inconclusive.

Skeletonization refers to one of the final stages in death, during which time the last vestige of a corpse or caracass has decayed or dried to the point that the bones of the skeleton are exposed.
Medical sources say that the rate at which a body decays is based on the elements it is exposed to; however, in this case, a body in water would decay slower than a body exposed to the elements.

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