4 December 2012

Tanzania: Police to Investigate Death of Canadian Woman

POLICE have embarked on investigation to establish circumstances behind the death of a Canadian woman who died mysteriously while volunteering to help children in Dar es Salaam on Wednesday last week.

Director of Criminal Investigation (DCI) Robert Manumba, confirmed yesterday that Ms Suzan Wells (41) died in unclear circumstances but would not reveal more details, saying any disclosure would interfere with investigations.

A family friend, Rev. Brian Goodings of Trinity United Church, confirmed that the Collingwood resident had died on Wednesday. He added that Wells had left the town, about 120 kilometres northwest of Toronto, for a month-long trip in Tanzania, carrying suitcases stuffed with educational materials for children.

Goodings was quoted by the Canadian press as saying the Foreign Affairs ministry had told Wells' family that an autopsy has been performed in Tanzania as authorities there try to discover the cause of death. He said the department had informed the family her death was not due to misadventure.

According to Goodings, Wells was an experienced traveller who had gone on numerous trips abroad to help out charities, including five previous voyages to Tanzania. He said Wells' family is devastated. "They are just shocked. It has been really horrible," Goodings said.

Canada's Foreign Affairs spokesman Ian Trites said in an email that a Canadian national had died in Tanzania, and that consulate officials in the city of Dar es Salaam are working with local authorities to gather more information.

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