39 bodies found in England

39 bodies found in England

Yasmin Vizguerra, Editor

A murder investigation is ongoing in England after 39 bodies were found in a truck container on Oct 23 in Essex, southeast England. A Northern Irish man by the name of Maurice Robinson, 25, the driver of the truck, was arrested in connection to the case and was charged with 39 cases of manslaughter, conspiracy to traffic, and unlawful immigration. 

      Police said they received reports of the bodies found by ambulance staff in a truck at the Waterglade Industrial Park in Grays at  1:40 A.M. The town they were found in is 9 miles east of London.

      Besides the two Vietnamese nationals, the rest of the bodies in the container were believed to be Chinses nationals and it is believed that the truck was transported through Belgium and was driven through Northern Ireland into England.

      The bodies found is similar to an incident where six bodies were found in a truck in a Middle Eastern country, five adults and one teen. Those found were said to have died of suffocation.

      The 39 bodies found consisted of 31 men and 8 women.

      “It’s so sad and disgusting that someone would do that to all those people,” said Jada Garza (‘20).

      Five others were also arrested, a married couple from England named Joanna and Thomas Maher, both 38. Another Northern Irish man, not named, was also arrested in connection to the bodies found. 

       In addition to the three, two Irish brothers, Ronan Hughes, 40, and Christopher Hughes, 34, are also being sought after by the police. 

      The truck container crossed through an English channel on the Clementine Ferry, though the ferry company is not said to be involved in the case. 

      An autopsy for all the victims has begun to detail the cause of their deaths and for how long they may have been deceased before being discovered in Waterglade.

       Temperatures in the trucks with refrigerated units can be as low as -13F.

      GPS data tracked as it showed the truck traveled between ports in France, Belgium, the UK, and Ireland. 

      The data shows the truck left Monaghan in the Republic of Ireland on October 15 before crossing over to Northern Ireland and returning south to Dublin. From Dublin, it crossed over to Wales overnight.

      Between October 17 and 22, it moved through various cities in Belgium to France, including Dunkirk, Bruges, and Lille.

      One of the victims, Pham Thi Tra, 26, sent distressing messages to her family on the night of October 22, expressing her fear.

      “I am dying, I can’t breathe,” the text read. Her family said they paid  £30,000 to people smugglers and said her last known location was Belgium.

      “I think it’s sadistic and evil that someone could’ve done that to so many people who were hoping for a better life,” said Giselle Munoz (‘20).

       All the bodies were moved to a nearby hospital and are still undergoing an investigation into the cause of the deaths of those in the truck.