Kingston, Jamaica: Scotland Yard investigators say Pakistan cricket coach Bob Woolmer died of heart failure from natural causes and was not strangled as local police concluded, a newspaper reported on 13 April 2007.
In London, Scotland Yard declined to comment on the report in the Jamaica Gleaner newspaper and said it would not discuss an analysis of toxicology tests conducted on behalf of Jamaican authorities.
“This is an inquiry being conducted by the Jamaican authorities,” said a Scotland Yard spokesman, on customary condition of anonymity in line with policy. “It’s down to them to comment on developments.”
The report in the Jamaica Gleaner, which did not identify its source beyond saying it was in London, was the latest in the slew of mixed messages since Woolmer was found unconscious in his Kingston hotel room on 18 March and pronounced dead at a hospital. The previous day, his powerhouse team had lost to underdog Ireland in the World Cup, ensuring Pakistan’s first-round exit.
Jamaican police later announced Woolmer had been strangled, after initially saying the cause of death was inconclusive. A barrage of unsourced media reports, especially in the British press, has said Woolmer was first drugged or poisoned before being strangled.
Mark Shields, the lead Jamaican police investigator in the case, has refused to comment on the reports, saying he was awaiting independent verification in a British government-owned lab of toxicology tests that were done in Jamaica. Shields, a former Scotland Yard veteran, did not immediately respond to calls for comment on the latest newspaper report. He traveled to Britain last week and then had been expected to go to South Africa, where Woolmer’s family lives.
One of two Pakistani detectives who traveled to Jamaica to assist in the probe told the Associated Press on 7 May that the investigation was so far “inconclusive.” The detective, Mir Zubair Mahmood, said it was unclear whether Woolmer was murdered or had died of natural causes.