Ugandan priest dies in suspected fall, report Seychelles police
The late Father Charles Walimbwa, who was found dead at his residence in the early hours of Tuesday morning (Roman Catholic Church of Seychelles)
(Seychelles News Agency) - A Ugandan Catholic priest has been reported to have been found dead at his residence on Praslin, the second most populated island in the Seychelles archipelago, in the early hours of Tuesday morning.
According a press statement issued by the Seychelles police this afternoon, 51-year-old Father Charles Walimbwa was found lying motionless on the floor of his residence at the St. Joseph Grand Anse Catholic priest house.
"According to information, it was this morning at 7 am that a female church assistant noticed that Father Charles had not yet reached the church for morning service, so she went to the priest house to look for him but to no avail. It was there that she reported the matter to the police," read the statement.
When the police arrived on the scene, Father Charles was found lying face-down in the corridor of the building's first floor, and a medical doctor certified him dead at 8:45 am.
While police investigators at the scene, they noticed a hole in the wooden ceiling above.
Speaking to SNA in a telephone interview on Tuesday evening, Seychelles police spokesperson Jean Toussaint said Father Charles was believed to have been up in the attic at the time of the accident and fallen through the wooden attic floor to the corridor below.
"That is what is suspected," he said. "To my understanding there are marks on him that would have been caused by him going through the wooden floor. It seemed that there were injuries to the head as well."
Initial reports from the church's shocked congregation on Praslin indicate that a hole in the roof may have caused Father Charles to climb up into the attic on Monday night to try to stop the rain from entering into the attic, ultimately leading to his fall.
Father Charles belonged to the Congregation of the Holy Spirit, or Spiritans, a missionary group often associated with schools and chaplaincy as well as missionary work. He had reportedly been posted to the Seychelles in 2013.
Thus far, police do not suspect any foul play in Father Charles' death, and await the results of the post mortem examination to determine the exact cause of death.
Update: April 1, 2015, 15:00
According to an email statement sent to the press on Wednesday morning, the Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese in Seychelles, Denis Wiehe, said that the Father Charles' remains were in the morgue of the hospital on Praslin Island, and that the programme of prayer and burial would be announced soon.
"Father Charles was a generous and firm in his missionary commitment to the faith and the Church. We pray for him," read the statement.