Body of royal hoax nurse to reach India—police
MANGALORE, India—The body of an Indian-born nurse who was found hanged after taking a hoax call to the hospital treating Prince William’s wife was due to arrive in Mangalore on Sunday following a memorial mass in London.
Jacintha Saldanha, 46, apparently committed suicide after answering the prank telephone call from two Australian radio DJs to the hospital where Catherine was admitted during the early stages of her pregnancy.
Mangalore, 360 kilometers (220 miles) from the southern city of Bangalore, is where Saldanha’s mother lives along with another daughter and a son.
Saldanha’s body will arrive a day after the nurse’s children told a service at London’s Westminster Cathedral that her death had created “an unfillable void.”
Her husband, 14-year-old daughter and 16-year-old son paid tribute to a loving wife and mother, whose death following what the hospital described as a “cruel trick” had left them bereft.
“We will miss your laughter, the loving memories and the good times we had together. The house is an empty dwelling without your presence,” her daughter Lisha said.
“We love you, Mum,” she said.
Saldanha’s funeral is expected to take place on Monday in Shirva outside Mangalore, the home town of her husband, Benedict Barboza, 49.
“The body will be brought here for the public to pay respects, then there will be Mass, and after Mass the funeral rights,” Stany Tauro, priest of the Our Lady of Health Church in Shirva, told AFP.
Barboza and the couple’s two children were due to arrive in Mangalore with the body later Sunday, police said.
William Menezes, spokesman for the diocese of Mangalore, said the funeral was scheduled for 4 p.m. (1030 GMT) on Monday with thousands expected to attend.
A London inquest last week heard that Saldanha, who moved to Britain from India around 12 years ago, had been found hanged in staff accommodation on December 7.
A few days earlier the nurse put the prank call from an Australian radio station through to a colleague, who relayed details about Catherine’s severe morning sickness to the DJs.
Saldanha left three notes, one of which reportedly criticized her colleagues over her treatment at the King Edward VII private hospital over the hoax call.
The hospital has defended itself, saying it offered support to Saldanha and had stressed to her she would not be disciplined for being taken in by the call.
Dozens of Indian students marched to the British High Commission in New Delhi on Saturday, calling for a probe into what they claimed was a “mysterious death.”
The demonstrators carried banners demanding “Justice for Jacintha” and alleged that “as a person of Indian origin she was isolated, victimized and subjected to harassment by the authorities.”
Australian police say death threats have been made against Michael Christian and Mel Greig, the DJs from Sydney’s 2Day FM radio station who made the call posing as the Queen and William’s father, Prince Charles.
The presenters made tearful apologies last week.