London: An Indian-origin nurse who was duped into transferring a hoax call that gave away information on pregnant Kate Middleton's medical condition to Australian DJs (also radio presenters) was on Friday found dead in a suspected suicide. Watch: Kate hoax call nurse found dead l Want probe into Jacintha's death: Indian neighbours
Jacintha Saldanha is a native of Karnataka’s Udupi district’s Shirva village. According to the villagers, she visited Shirva two years back to meet her inlaws for Christmas. But she never revealed about her connection with the Royal Family to her neighbours or relatives. Her neighbours hope that a proper investigation is carried out to unearth the truth behind her death.
The unconscious body of Jacintha Saldanha, 46, was found Friday morning at an address yards away from King Edward VII Hospital.
In a statement St James's Palace said: "The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are deeply saddened to learn of the death of Jacintha Saldanha. Their Royal Highnesses were looked after so wonderfully well at all times by everybody at King Edward VII Hospital, and their thoughts and prayers are with Jacintha Saldanha's family, friends and colleagues at this very sad time."
Jacintha answered the hoax call at 5.30 am on Wednesday morning, and was helping out on reception at the time of the prank. Giggling DJs (radio presenters) were pretending to be the British Queen and Prince Charles and asked her if they could be put through to Kate.
Jacintha connected them to another nurse who gave details of Kate's condition, who was suffering from acute morning sickness at the London hospital.
Jacintha was said to have been “inconsolable and distraught” after being duped by Mel Greig and Michael Christian into believing she was speaking to the Queen.
The exact cause of death remained unclear. However, media here indicated that the woman appeared to have killed herself. Her family, husband and two children have been informed.
Hospital chief executive John Lofthouse said: "Our thoughts and deepest sympathies at this time are with her family and friends. Everyone is shocked by the loss of a much-loved and valued colleague."
Scotland Yard said the death was not being treated as suspicious.
DJs taken off air, prank call still promoted
"British-born Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard, inset, last night said the death of nurse Jacintha Saldanha was a 'tragedy'. But she failed to criticise either the DJs who made the hoax call to the pregnant Duchess of Cambridge's ward or the radio station," according to www.dailymail.co.uk .
According to a report, Sydney-based 2Day FM, the radio station behind
the hoax call to the hospital where the Duchess of Cambridge was being
treated has defended its actions, saying hoax calls "as a craft" have
been going for "decades and decades".
Sydney-based 2Day FM is continuing to promote its prank call on air. It called "the prank call the world is talking about" before playing clips of news programmes reporting on the original call, in the middle of a dance music programme.
The radio station said on Saturday the two presenters are deeply shocked over news of the death.
The station and the hosts have decided that they will not return to their radio show until further notice out of respect for what can only be described as a tragedy", 2Day FM and its owners Southern Cross Austereo said in a statement.