Royal Cayman Islands Police have an unusual and grim case on their hands after a fetus was found buried in the sand at Spotts Public Beach last week.
Officers were called to the scene Thursday morning by a person who witnessed a man burying something near the public beach’s two cabana shelters. By the time they arrived, police said the man burying the object had gone.
The fetus was uncovered and taken to hospital for analysis.
As of press time, officers had not been able to locate the man who was seen burying the fetus or the woman who was its mother.
‘Although the fetus is very small and underdeveloped, we are concerned that if the mother doesn’t receive adequate medical attention she may become ill,’ said Chief Inspector Peter Kennett.
Police were uncertain last week how the case would be handled simply because there weren’t enough facts known about the incident.
Abortion is illegal in Cayman unless two doctors give their consent to certify the procedure as necessary to preserve the life of the mother. Anyone who induces a miscarriage, whether through force, poison, or other means is in violation of the Penal Code (2006 Revision).
However, police officials said Friday that it would be difficult to determine whether the fetus was aborted, or was simply the result of a miscarriage, which had occurred naturally.
Also, Cayman’s Births and Deaths Registration Law (2007 Revision) makes it an offence to effect a burial without certificates from a Registrar.
Department of Environmental Health guidelines allow burial of any deceased body only in purpose-built vaults and designated cemeteries.