Maverick Citizen


Postmortem on one-year-old Orderick Lucas does not rule out foul play

Postmortem on one-year-old Orderick Lucas does not rule out foul play
Pathologist Dr Daphne Anthony testified in the Western Cape High Court on Monday that foul play could not be excluded in the death of one year old Orderick Lucas in March 2019. (Photo: Vincent Cruywagen)

The pathology report reveals that the badly decomposed body of the infant was infested with maggots.

The postmortem carried out on one-year-old Orderick Lucas on 2 April 2019 could not conclusively determine the cause of death, but foul play cannot be ruled out.

One-year-old Orderick Lucas was murdered around 25 March 2019 in Kleinvlei, Cape Town. His body was found in a stormwater drain on 1 April 2019. (Photo: Supplied)

This was the testimony by pathologist Dr Daphne Anthony in the Western Cape High Court on Monday 15 February. Anthony said Orderick’s badly decomposed body was infested with maggots. 

Anthony told the court that due to the severe decomposition of the body no obvious external injuries were found, and no injuries or bruises were present on his skull, internal organs or brain. The infant’s face was deformed with dark brown discolouration and covered with grass debris. The nails on the hands and feet were intact and also covered with grass debris. There were no defensive injuries on the arms and forearms.

Murder accused Melvin Volkwyn has pleaded not guilty in the Western Cape High Court of murdering one-year-old Orderick Lucas in Kleinvlei, Cape Town in March 2019. (Photo: Vincent Cruywagen)

Orderick disappeared on Sunday 24 March 2019 from near his home in Kleinvlei, Cape Town. His mother reported him missing on 28 March. His body was found on 1 April in a stormwater drain by children playing. Last week, Melvin Volkwyn pleaded not guilty to murdering the infant.

In the postmortem read out in court, Anthony said: “A focal area of dark black discoloration, suggestive of bruising, was noted on the right neck muscle. No evidence of internal injuries or fractures involving the hyoid bone was noted.”

Asked by State prosecutor advocate Mornay Julius if there was a suspicion of trauma to the neck, she responded yes, but added that because of the decomposition trauma to the neck could not be confirmed.

However, when asked if foul play was suspected, she answered: “Yes, foul play is suspected and something was done to the child by another person.

“Evaluation of the neck tissue is suggestive of the presence of decomposed red cells, but does not necessarily confirm the suspicion of trauma to the neck. This finding needs to be carefully correlated with all the other evidence in the case. The suspicion of trauma to the neck is highly likely.”

Julius asked Anthony whether the infant ended up in the stormwater drain by himself or had been put there.

“From my professional opinion the child didn’t end up there by himself,” she said.

Hospital records showed that on 6 March 2019 at 4pm, the infant had a temperature of 37.3, a rash on his buttocks and an ulcer on his penis. On 7 March the clinic asked his mother to return within a week.

His mother did not return to the clinic. On 23 March 2019, a temperature of 37.3 was again detected and septic sores noticed on his nose and head. 

It is the contention of the defence that Orderick died of natural causes and somebody tried to conceal the body.

The trial continues on Tuesday. DM/MC


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