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Last Updated: Saturday, 24 March 2007, 08:12 GMT
Woolmer's body kept in Caribbean
Bob Woolmer
Bob Woolmer had coached Pakistan since 2004

A coroner in Jamaica has ordered that the body of the murdered Pakistan cricket coach, Bob Woolmer, should remain there until an inquest is held.

The former England player was strangled in his hotel room hours after Pakistan was eliminated from the World Cup.

Pakistan's cricket squad are returning home but two officials will stay after promising Woolmer's family they would follow the ongoing investigation.

Relatives have said they were unaware of any threats to his life.

The local coroner, Patrick Murphy, has ordered an inquest - which means that Woolmer's body will not be returned to his family in South Africa as planned.

Bob was a large man - it would have taken some significant force to subdue him
Mark Shields
Deputy police commissioner

Meanwhile, investigators are still awaiting test results from pathologists that could give vital clues to his murder.

Jamaican police probing the former England player's death say they could be searching for more than one attacker.

Police say Woolmer - who was 58 - may have known his killer or killers, and are studying video footage from the Pegasus Hotel in the Jamaican capital where he was murdered.

Family 'devastated'

The BBC's Andy Gallacher in Kingston says the speculation continues in the Jamaican press, much of it about match-fixing and whether that was in some way connected to the death.

Kingston, Jamaica
1. 17 Mar: Ireland beat Pakistan
2. 18 Mar, 10.45am: Woolmer found unconscious in hotel room
3. 18 Mar, 12.14pm: Pronounced dead at hospital
Photo: Earth Sciences and Image Analysis Laboratory, NASA Johnson Space Center.

All that is unconfirmed but officials are under extreme pressure to solve this case quickly, our correspondent says.

Flanked by Woolmer's widow, Gill, and their sons, Dale and Russell, Woolmer's agent, Michael Cohen, read a statement to reporters outside the family home in Cape Town, South Africa on Friday.

"To the best of the family's knowledge, there is absolutely nothing to suggest Bob was involved in match-fixing," Mr Cohen said.

"Contrary to reports, we can confirm there is nothing in any book Bob has written that would explain this situation and there were no threats received."

The statement said the family were devastated by Woolmer's death and were struggling to come to terms with it.

They have set up a trust fund to raise money to support his cricketing legacy.

Flying home

A post-mortem examination established that he died as a result of "manual strangulation".

Suspicions that the coach may have known anyone who attacked him have been raised after it emerged there were no signs of forced entry at his hotel room and none of his possessions was taken.


Woolmer was found unconscious by hotel staff on Sunday, the morning after Pakistan's shock defeat to Ireland.

The deputy commissioner of the Jamaican police, Mark Shields, said this might now be a hunt for more than one killer, and urged the perpetrators to hand themselves in.

"Bob was a large man. It would have taken some significant force to subdue him," he said, adding that police were ruling nothing out and had "lots of lines of inquiry".

Members of the Pakistan team and staff have already been interviewed, and plan to return home on Saturday.

There are still many unanswered questions about the death of one of the sport's most prominent and well-liked figures, our correspondent says.

Details of the men being questioned


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