Funeral for UK nurse who died 30 years ago

AP News
Posted: Nov 09, 2009 12:51 PM

The body of a British nurse who died 30 years ago in Saudi Arabia was cremated Monday after her father gave up his hope for a new investigation in her case.

A funeral was held at a crematory in the Yorkshire town of Wakefield, 185 miles (300 kilometers) northwest of London, for Helen Smith, whose remains had been held in a British mortuary since 1979.

Her father, 83-year-old Ron Smith, had refused to permit her burial until now because he dismissed official reports that the death was an accident.

Saudi investigators said Helen Smith was found dead in the street the morning after she attended a party in Jeddah city on May 20, 1979. Officials concluded that she had died after she accidentally fell from a balcony. She was 23.

Ron Smith believes his daughter was murdered, and had preserved her body in hope of providing forensic evidence to expose what he said was a cover-up.

He has told local newspapers that he and his ex-wife decided to cremate their daughter before they both died, but that he will never accept that there has been no cover-up.