Sad Journey for Bereft NZ Couple Called to ID Dead Son

LEGIAN

Bereft New Zealand parents Julie and Graham Lucas made a sad journey to Bali this week to formally identify their surfer son Jordan Lucas, 25, who was found bashed to death in the sea off Suluban beach at Uluwatu on Tuesday last week.

They were due at Sanglah Hospital’s morgue at 11am on Thursday morning, Forensics Department chief Dudut Rustyadi told The Bali Times. He said they had asked that details of a post mortem examination on their son not be released to the public.

“The family have requested that no details be given out” at this time, he said.

Police, however, say Lucas was almost certainly murdered, that he was dead before his body went into the water and that his head injuries were the cause of death.

Consular officers from the New Zealand embassy in Jakarta are in Bali to deal with the family support and other aspects of the death. New Zealand does not have a consulate on Bali.

In Wellington, the New Zealand capital, a foreign ministry spokesman said on Tuesday the family wished to keep their privacy and would not be making any statements.

Police were called to Suluban on Tuesday last week when the body was found by a fisherman. They said the body was fully clothed but clad in two sets of outer wear and no underwear.

Dr Ida Bagus Putu Alit of Sanglah forensic unit, where the body was taken for autopsy, said: “The cause of death was the injury to the face.”

Rustiyadi, backed the foul-play theory. He said Lucas’s head had been crushed beyond recognition.

Lucas was a keen surfer and had been in Bali for about four months. The Uluwatu surf breaks are famous with surfers from around the world.

A relative of Lucas who lives in Bali told the New Zealand Herald newspaper Lucas was always at Uluwatu Beach.

“He was a lovely kid, a lovely boy who just loved Bali. He was here for four months just surfing. I’ve known him for a long time and that’s all he loved – surfing,” she said.

On Tuesday the woman visited the morgue at Sanglah with a priest to perform a simple “memorial service” for Lucas, believing she should do so because his body had been there a week.

She said Lucas had lived for some time in Australia and had built himself a house on his parents’ farm at Ngarawahia, near Hamilton in the North Island, south of Auckland.

A relative of the family in New Zealand said: “It’s pretty terrible. It sounds like it was something suspicious, so it’s pretty tough for his parents.”

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