Luxor bodies mix-up grows more macabre

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The Independent Online
Confusion over the missing bodies from the Luxor massacre deepened yesterday with the news that Swiss authorities had failed to identify the body first thought to be that of Yorkshire grandmother Joan Turner.

Her distraught family learned last week that the body delivered to them for burial was not that of Mrs Turner, 53, which had been sent to Zurich by mistake.

It had been assumed that the body had been switched with that of a Swiss victim, Elisabeth Brauen, 53, who was also among the 58 tourists shot dead by Muslim extremists in the Valley of Queens.

But the Swiss Consul General in London, Robert Muller, told the Independent on Sunday that her dental records had not matched the body. "It's not true that the Swiss body is in the UK. We don't know where the Swiss body is, we just know that Mrs Turner's body is in Switzerland.

"The family of the Swiss woman is suffering in the same way as that of Mrs Turner."

Three generations of the Turner family were killed in the attack,including Joan, her daughter Karina, 24, and her granddaughter Shaunnah, five. The family's pain over the tragedy was intensified by the discovery on Friday that the body thought to be that of Karina, and sent to their home in Halifax, had also been misidentified.

The Foreign Office said yesterday that the embassy in Cairo was liaising with the Egyptian authorities and other governments whose nationals were killed in the massacre in attempt to track down the missing body.

There is concern that Karina's body could already have been buried or cremated. It could have been sent to Bulgaria, Japan or Colombia, according to the Foreign Office, or even been confused with that of an Egyptian victim and remained in that country.

A checklist of all the dead is now being drawn up, including the countries to which they have been sent. It includes six Britons, 36 Swiss, four Germans, one Colombian and 11 Japanese.

Meanwhile a Tory MP has criticised the response of the embassy in Egypt to reports that the bodies of two of his constituents were looted after the massacre. The family of George and Ivy Wigham, of Swanley, Kent, said jewellery had been stripped from the elderly couple after they were killed.

Their MP, Michael Fallon, said he would press ministers to verify the reports and seek apologies from the Egyptians. "I wish the embassy would start getting more involved out there ... I am not satisfied with the way that they have handled it."