This hotel, like hundreds of other buildings, collapsed during the magnitude 7.0 earthquake which devastated Haiti on January 12 and left close to 300,000 persons dead.
Confirmation of the discovery of the bodies was posted on the social networking site Facebook yesterday under the facebook page “Greg McAlpin and Rosemond James Missing in Haiti”, which has over 1,600 fans.
When news of the discovery of the bodies spread, many Facebook users expressed their condolences to the families of the deceased men. Mc Alpin, James and two nationals from Curacao went missing after the earthquake destroyed a significant portion of Haiti’s capital Port- au-Prince.
A search team from the Eastern Civil Aviation Authority (ECCA) left Antigua on January 19 to get information on the missing personnel who were in Haiti to attend the Caribbean Aviation and Safety Security Oversight System hosted by Caricom. Back at home, Foreign Affairs Minister Paula Gopee-Scoon admitted that because of the scope and magnitude of the destruction it was doubtful that McAlpin would be found alive and as such, she said, “We are praying for a miracle”. One body was found in the rubble of the hotel on February 1. In an interview McAlpin’s brother Garth said the family kept hoping for the best. They were notified on Monday by the ECCA which received information from Haiti. Garth said the news of the discovery of the bodies brought sadness.
“At this stage the best is getting the body back. It is not what we were looking for but it has brought closure for the family,” he said. Garth said he did not know when the remains of his brother would be released to the family.
The Facebook profile established after McAlpin and James were reported missing has provided regular updates on the search and recovery effort. Yesterday, a contributor reported that it will take a few days for the bodies to be processed and certified before being sent to their respective homes.