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26565: Hermantin(news) Two bodies found ashore identified (fwd)
From: leonie hermantin <email@example.com>
Posted on Fri, Nov. 11, 2005
Two bodies found ashore identified
BY DARRAN SIMON AND JACQUELINE CHARLES
As the smuggler's boat crept up on the South Florida shoreline about 4:30 a.m.
last Saturday, one of the leaders forced everyone out in the choppy waters.
Some cried out that they could not swim, but about a dozen made it to land.
Three young women didn't. Their bodies later washed ashore in Pompano Beach.
On Thursday, Broward Sheriff's investigators identified two of the women, both
in their 20s. They are Diane Thompson, 26, of Kingston, Jamaica, and Angeline
Thelusma, 29, of Jean-Rabel, Haiti.
Investigators still are trying to identify the third victim.
Ralph Latortue, Haiti's Consul General, met with some of the survivors this
week to get more information about the ill-fated journey.
''As soon as they started talking about the ordeal, they started crying,
shivering,'' Latortue said earlier this week. 'They are very young. What I've
been trying to talk to them about is `why would they go and risk their lives?'
One detainee told him she paid $2,300 to come to America.
''They paid an awful lot of money to these people,'' Latortue said.
The group also told Latortue the 19-foot sailboat left Nassau, Bahamas, last
Fridayin the darkness. The voyage took hours. Most of those onboard were
strangers who had been living in the Bahamas for at least five years, some of
the Haitian migrants told Latortue.
None of them knew the name of the smugglers or how many there were, Latortue
When the passengers were ordered out of the boat, ''the water covered their
heads,'' said Marleine Bastien, a Haitian-American community activist who has
been in touch with family members of some of the migrants.
''Just imagine the panic,'' she said. ``You do not know what to do to come up.
That is the most terrible way to die.''
Many Haitian migrants believe that, like Cubans, all they have to do is touch
U.S. soil and they will be allowed to remain in the United States. That policy
applies to Cubans alone.
Asylum seekers from other countries usually are granted bond, but Haitian
migrants may be detained indefinitely while they seek asylum.
''This law is not only costing Haitian lives, but Cuban lives,'' said Bastien.
The three women's bodies were discovered separately on the beach over a span of
two hours last Saturday.
Investigators say the migrants may have attempted to enter the United States
with as many as 12 others.
A BSO deputy spotted the group running in Lauderdale-by-the-Sea before 6 a.m.
Five were detained and turned over to the U.S. Border Patrol. The rest escaped.
Around 6 a.m., a fisherman found Thompson's body at the Pompano Beach Fishing
Pier and called police.
Around 7:45 a.m., someone called police after spotting the second body in the
500 block of North Ocean Drive.
Fifteen minutes later, Thelusma's body was discovered in the 600 block of North
The Broward Medical Examiner's Office has performed autopsies on each of the
women, but the causes of the deaths are still pending.
Federal immigration authorities are investigating.
© 2005 Herald.com and wire service sources. All Rights Reserved.