A gliding instructor has become a prime suspect of a fatal accident for swallowing his camera's memory card after it recorded his passenger plunging hundreds of feet to her death.
Lenami Godinez-Avila had been given the hang-gliding lesson as a gift from her boyfriend, who was on the ground filming the flight. Witnesses saw Godinez-Avila wearing a harness which had somehow became detached from the hang glider. She tried to hang on but eventually slid before falling almost 1,000 feet to her death. She was just 27-years-old.
Initially, the cause of death was assumed to have been due to a malfunction with equipment or a harness. However, investigators are now accusing the instructor of attempting to hide key evidence because he swallowed the memory card that had been used to record the footage. CNN reports:
“Investigators trying to determine why she fell are accusing the instructor of trying to hide what might be a key piece of evidence – a possible onboard video recording of the flight – in his digestive tract.
William Jonathan Orders, 50, was arrested Saturday and charged this week with obstructing justice, accused of swallowing a memory card from a video camera that accompanied the pair on the flight near Agassiz, British Columbia, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police said.
X-rays confirmed the card was in Orders’ body, and authorities as of Thursday morning still were waiting for the object to pass, RCMP Constable Tracy Wolbeck said. Investigators hope to recover the object.”