Funeral scheduled for Catholic nurse who was victim of radio hoax

London — The funeral of the Catholic nurse who committed suicide after falling victim to a hoax call in London is scheduled for Monday at her hometown in Shirva, Karnataka, India.

The body of Jacintha Saldanha was flown to Mangalore from United Kingdom, accompanied by her husband, Benedict Barboza, her daughter, Lisha, 14, and her son, Junal, 16.

Saldanha's coffin was transferred to an ambulance and taken to a local hospital.

Her funeral is scheduled for 4 p.m. local time Monday at at Our Lady of Health Church in Shirva, her family said.

Police said as many as 5,000 people were expected to attend the nurse's funeral service.

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During a Mass held at Westminster Cathedral on Sunday, Saldanha's children described the "unfillable void" left in their lives by their mother's death.

Fighting back tears, Barboza said, "My wife, you were the light in my darkness, who always showed me the way forward.

"From the day we met, you always stood by me in times of hardship and happiness. I feel a part of me has been ripped out. Without your beautiful smile and sparkling personality, the house is an empty place to live," he said.

Lisha said: "We will miss your laughter, the loving memories and the good times we had together. The house is an empty dwelling without your presence. We are shattered and there's an unfillable void in our lives."

"We love you, Mum; sleep in peace and watch over us until me meet again in heaven. We will always love you and keep you close to our heart," she added.

The nurse's son said his mother was a kind-hearted, generous and well-respected woman.

"You were the core of the family who kept the family together," he said.

The 46-year-old left two notes in her room and had marks on her wrist when her body was discovered at the nurses' quarters near the London's King Edward VII's Hospital.

Saldanha was found dead last week after receiving a prank phone call from two radio jockeys.

She put the call through to another nurse who gave the impostors details of the condition of the Duchess of Cambridge, who was in the hospital with severe morning sickness.

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