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Body Sent to Greece; Housekeeper Ordered to Stay With AM-Onassis-Tragedy, Bjt

November 24, 1988

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) _ The body of Christina Onassis was sent home Wednesday for burial on the family’s Greek island, but her housekeeper was kept behind until she answered questions by investigators into the cause of death.

Heleni Syros, the housekeeper, apparently was the person who discovered Ms. Onassis lying on the floor Saturday at the home of friends. An investigating judge said Ms. Syros acknowledged moving the body, but he gave no details.

A preliminary coroner’s report said the 37-year-old shipping heiress died of a fluid buildup in the lungs.

Legal and medical officials want to establish whether it resulted from natural causes, such as a heart attack. The complete coroner’s report is expected in about two weeks.

The daily La Nacion quoted an unidentified doctor in the coroner’s office as saying ″Death could have been produced by a heart weakened by the prolonged ingestion of slimming medication.″

Ms. Onassis frequently dieted to combat a weight problem and was known to take diet pills.

Federal Judge Alberto Piotti formally released of the body at about 2 p.m. Wednesday as a group of family members and friends waited with the casket at Ezeiza International Airport.

Aides to Piotti said release authorization was granted, as requested Tuesday night by Interior Minister Enrique Nosiglia, because forensic experts said autopsy evidence indicated the body would not have to be examined again.

Ms. Onassis is to be buried Saturday on the island of Skorpios in a mausoleum next to her father, Aristotle, from whom she inherited $500 million after his death 1975, and her brother Alexander.

Piotti said in a telephone interview that Ms. Syros answered questions from himself and Judge Martin Trurzun late Wednesday afternoon, adding that she could have left on the plane with the rest of the Onassis group had she responded to their request earlier.

He said the housekeeper acknowleged she moved Ms. Onassis’ body from the bathroom to the hallway. He declined to comment on the significance of her remark or disclose other questions and answers in the interview.

The first doctor on the scene at Tortuguitas Country Club, 25 miles north of Buenos Aires, told police Ms. Onassis was dead when he arrived and her body apparently had been dragged from one room to another.

Ms. Onassis was staying with Alberto and Marina Dodero in Buenos Aires. They accompanied the casket, as did the dead woman’s former husband, French industrialist Thierry Roussel.

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