Nobody knew how long a mummified body of a sailor had been slumped over a desk by a radio on a ghost ship or how long the boat had been drifting when fishermen discovered it 62 miles off the coast of the Philippines.
Police in Barobo, a town on the east coast of Mindanao Island in the Philippines, had launched an investigation to determine whether a crime had been committed, though no foul play appeared evident.
Well now, the mystery has been solved, or at least most of it.
“The cause of death is acute myocardial infarction based on the autopsy by [the] regional crime laboratory,” national police spokesman Chief Superintendent Wilben Mayor told Agence France-Presse, via Breitbart News and Daily Mail. “The German national is estimated to have been dead for more or less seven days.”
As some surmised, Manfred Fritz Bajorat, 59, died of a heart attack and no crime was committed, authorities determined Wednesday.
The mummified condition of the body mystified officials, but the Express reported that forensics experts explained a combination of tropical heat, dry wind and salty sea air can quickly preserve or mummify a corpse.
“All that you need is the right conditions so the body does not decompose,” Dr. Janet Davey, a forensic Egyptologist from the Department of Forensic Medicine at Monash University, told the Express. “For a body to mummify naturally (different from the ancient Egyptians, who mummified bodies artificially), the conditions need to be dry and with a bit of a breeze going through.
“It also helps when the body is in an enclosed area so insects do not attack the body.”
Bajorat’s naked corpse was discovered in the cabin by fisherman Christopher Rivas and his companions, who found the 44-foot yacht with a broken mast and the cabin strewn with photo albums, clothes and tins of food. It’s unknown if the mast had broken before or after the captain’s death.
Also, authorities located a family member of Bajorat in Germany.
“It appears he has a daughter [Nina] based in Germany and the embassy is to fly her here to identify the dead body,” Chief Inspector Dominador Plaza, the Barobo police chief, told AFP.
Bajorat, said to have been sailing the world for 20 years, much of it with his wife, broke up with wife Claudia in 2008 and she died two years later.
Police are still investigating the yacht’s travel plans to learn more about Bajorat.
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