Last August, the body of an unidentified man was found in Neri, Vilnius district. The volunteers of “Sienas grupė” announce that this may be an illegal migrant who tried to enter Lithuania from Belarus. The prosecutor’s office has not yet released more detailed information about the case.
Found in Neri
As announced in Vilnius County police reports, the man’s body was discovered on August 21, 2022. around 9:25 a.m. In the Vilnius district, in the territory of the Buivydžių precinct, near the village of Kūniškės, on the Neris river.
The body of the deceased is of unknown age and identity, in the stage of decomposition. A pre-trial investigation has been launched to determine the cause of death.
The first migrant who died in Lithuania?
According to the information shared by the volunteers of the “Wall Group” on Facebook, on Wednesday, January 11, they received another message from a woman with whom they have been communicating since September. It is said that her husband tried to cross the border and then she lost contact with him.
“Four months after the first contact with us, she wrote a message because she received information that her husband is probably in a Lithuanian morgue. Her voice was that of a completely broken person, she needed our help, she couldn’t believe that this was really her husband’s body. Therefore, we decided to go to the morgue ourselves and inquire about the situation. The people working at the morgue told us some details of the story. We learned that the man was found dead in the water, in the border forest of Lithuania, in August. So, shortly after the loss of contact with loved ones. The wife asked us to go see the body and show it on the phone so she could identify it. Unfortunately, according to the people who work at the morgue, the decay made him unrecognizable, so it didn’t make sense for us to do it. In addition, as we understand, a DNA test was conducted which confirmed that this was the missing person being sought. The wife just couldn’t believe it until someone she trusts, so we just confirmed that: “yes, a body has been found in the forest and now it is in the Lithuanian morgue.” What we feared has come true – this will be the first confirmed case of a migrant person who died on the territory of Lithuania,” detailed the post of “Sienas grupė”.
Her voice was that of a completely broken person, she needed our help, she couldn’t believe that this was really her husband’s body.
As the volunteers stated on Facebook, the wife of the deceased man inquired about the possibility of organizing a funeral in Lithuania according to Muslim traditions. “We are very saddened by this situation and are afraid to hear about other similar cases. How many unidentified bodies are currently in Lithuanian morgues and cemeteries? Why are Lithuanian institutions hiding such facts? Are the relatives’ uncertainty, despair and pain worth it, so that we can continue to say: “the situation at the border is stable?” – asked the volunteers rhetorically.
Information is not made public yet
Journalists of the kauno.diena.lt portal turned to the prosecutor’s office on Thursday to confirm or deny the information provided. According to representative Gintarės Vitkauskaitė-Šatkauskienė, the pre-trial investigation to determine the cause of death continues.
“During the investigation, the identity of the dead person found in the Neris River was established. He is a 32-year-old citizen of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, whose last place of residence was found to be in the United Kingdom. According to the investigation, the person’s death was not violent,” she said.
According to the interlocutor, in order not to harm the ongoing pre-trial investigation, more detailed information is not being made public at this time.
He is a 32-year-old citizen of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, whose last place of residence was found to be in the United Kingdom. According to the investigation, the person’s death was not violent.
Giedrius Mišutis, representative of the State Border Protection Service (SBS), informed BNS that the service was not officially informed about this case, and the police investigates such events according to their competence.
According to G. Mišutis, the man was found in an area that is several kilometers from the border with Belarus and where the Neris flows.
“The body was found on the territory of Lithuania, but for now we cannot draw any conclusions, because it is necessary to assess that there is also a river flow,” said G. Mišutis.
According to him, in the summer in this place the Neris becomes shallow in places and it can be waded. No attempts to cross the border were recorded at this location.
As the Ministry of the Interior informed BNS, the pre-trial investigation into this incident is being conducted by law enforcement institutions, prosecutors and the police, so the Ministry does not have any official data or information yet.
Minister Agnė Bilotaitė also did not comment on this case to journalists.
“All institutions work transparently – the Ministry of Internal Affairs and all our services. We cooperate both with non-governmental organizations, the minister told journalists. “And when it comes to this situation, about this pre-trial investigation, I somehow would not like to comment, because it is the material of the pre-trial investigation.”