Jewish man's body found in Haiti

By Jessica Elgot, March 8, 2010
Alexander Shmuel Bitton

Alexander Shmuel Bitton

The body of a Jewish man has finally been recovered from the rubble of the Haiti earthquake, nearly two months after being reported missing.

Canadian Alexander Shmuel Bitton, 37, died after the Montana Hotel, where he was staying on a business trip, collapsed as the earthquake hit Haiti.

This week, Israeli rescue volunteers ZAKA recovered a body which carried Mr Bitton’s passport.

The body has been transferred to the United Nations facility in Haiti to be formally identified.

Mr Bitton’s family said that he had just arrived at the Montana Hotel in Haiti’s capital, Port-au-Prince, when the earthquake struck.

His colleague, known only as Martin, said he saw Mr Bitton at the hotel reception desk and arranged to meet him by the poolside bar.

When the earthquake struck, Martin was waiting for Mr Bitton by the pool. He never saw him again.

ZAKA Chairman Yehuda Meshi-Zahav said: “Our mission is to make the utmost efforts — even if it is at the other end of the world — to ensure a full Jewish burial.”

Last updated: 12:26pm, March 8 2010