NATION

Family Queries Death of Son Whose Body Was Found In The Wainibokasi River

The body of Joseph Steven Smith, 33, was found floating in the Wainibokasi River, a Police report said. The report also stated that Joseph was believed to have drowned.
28 Jan 2021 12:00
Family Queries Death of Son Whose Body Was Found In The Wainibokasi River
Frank Smith brother of deceased Joseph Smith (in the picture).

The family of a man whose body was found in the Wainibokasi River on January 11 are seeking answers to what transpired prior to his death.

The body of Joseph Steven Smith, 33, was found floating in the Wainibokasi River, a Police report said. The report also stated that Joseph was believed to have drowned.

The body was discovered by a woman who was collecting freshwater mussels from the river.

Frank Smith, Joseph’s younger brother, yesterday spoke about the last phone conversation his brother made to his best friend on the Saturday, two days before his body was discovered.

“On Saturday, Joseph called one of our very close friends who lives in Muanikoso. Our friend was away in town, but his wife had answered the call,” Frank said.

“He informed her that he was drunk and that he was badly injured after being beaten up by some men.

“He also told her that he was drinking in Wainibokasi with his wife’s brother and some other men from the village where his wife was from.

“After an hour or two when our friend got home and tried his phone number, he did not respond. He left him 11 missed calls.”

Frank also said Joseph’s phone was later found with his flip flops near the spot where his body was found.

“We just want answers. It’s been a week since we farewelled him and we still have sleepless nights thinking of what had happened to Joe,” Frank said.

“He was someone that didn’t really enjoy swimming, but I was shocked that his body was found in the river and that he allegedly drowned.

“There’s a lot of questions running in our minds now and we hope the investigations will answer the questions that we, the family have.”

Frank also said his brother’s body was unrecognisable when he visited the morgue to identify Joseph.

Police spokesperson Savaira Tabua said Police investigations on the matter were ongoing.

Ms Tabua said no suspect has been questioned concerning the case.

Joseph is survived by his wife Litia Naivalulevu Smith and one-year-old daughter.

Edited by Naisa Koroi 

Feedback: inoke.rabonu@fijisun.com.fj


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