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Last Updated: Sunday, 6 March, 2005, 02:30 GMT
Quake mother waits for son's body
Taylor Howard
Sharon Howard with Mr Page and brothers Taylor (l) and Mason
A woman who lost her family in the Asian tsunami has condemned a delay in returning her son's body home.

Sharon Howard, 37, of St Ives, Cornwall, survived giant waves which hit their Thai resort on Boxing Day.

Her sons Mason, eight, and Taylor, six, along with fiancÚ David Page were lost - only Taylor's body was found.

Ms Howard told the News of the World Taylor's remains were nearly given to a German couple and bureaucratic errors caused the delay in returning his body.

'Terrifies me'

Blaming both Thai and British authorities, she said: "Jack Straw has done nothing for me, despite the promises he made me when he visited me in hospital.

"I can't imagine he would have to wait eight weeks if any of his children were in a Thai morgue, so why should I?

Every night I go to bed and all I can think of is Taylor lying there, cold, all on his own and that thought terrifies me
Sharon Howard

"Every night I go to bed and all I can think of is Taylor lying there, cold, all on his own and that thought terrifies me."

Ms Howard claims the youngster's remains were almost given away to a German family, and she was twice told Taylor would be on a plane home.

'Understand concerns'

It is reported the body was formally identified only last week because the British authorities failed to quickly send off DNA samples they were given.

A Foreign Office spokesman said: "We are doing everything possible in all cases to make the identification of victims complete as quickly as we can.

"But getting it right is the most important thing. I understand the concerns that people have because they want to have the identification and their loved ones back but we have to make sure it is done correctly."

Mr Page, from Graffham, West Sussex, had proposed marriage on Christmas Day - just hours before the tsunami struck.


SEE ALSO:
Quake victim's wedding proposal
29 Dec 04 |  Cornwall


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