February 5, 2016 3:57 pm
Updated: February 5, 2016 4:15 pm

Guinness World Records not reviewing claim Montreal woman is 120-years-old

Cecilia Laurent is seen in her home Monday, February 1, 2016 in Laval, Que. Laurent, who celebrated her 120th birthday Sunday, is thought to be the oldest person alive.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
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MONTREAL – Guinness World Records, the internationally renowned record-listing franchise, said it is not investigating a claim that a Montreal-area woman is the oldest living person.

The family of Cecilia Laurent said she turned 120-years-old on Jan. 31, and had said Guinness was looking into that claim.

Laurent moved to Quebec from Haiti in 2010 after an earthquake devastated the Caribbean country.

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She lives with her family in Laval, just north of Montreal.

The Canadian Press reported in a Feb. 1 story that Ronald Chery, Laurent’s great-grandson, said officials from the records company were on a fact-finding mission in Haiti to confirm her birth date, which he said was in 1896.

Guinness spokeswoman Sofia Rocher, however, said Thursday that “no one from Guinness World Records has travelled to Haiti to review this record.”

READ MORE: Quebec woman possibly world’s oldest person

When contacted about Guinness’s response, Chery sent via email a screenshot of his application on Guinness’s website dated April 2013.

But Rocher responded that there was no accompanying evidence to support his claim.

“There is no evidence for the claim in the system,” Rocher said via email.

“Therefore the record is not being reviewed.”

Chery did not respond to subsequent emails from The Canadian Press asking, among other things, whether he could provide documentation showing Laurent was 120-years-old.

Attempts to reach him by phone on Friday were unsuccessful.

On Sunday, Jan. 31, members of the Haitian community in Montreal celebrated Laurent’s 120th birthday at the city’s Haitian consulate.

Kurdy Lareche, Haiti’s Montreal-based consul general, helped throw the birthday party and said that representatives of the city and police department attended.

“Not everyone lives until 120,” he said in an interview a day after the birthday.

“And on top of that she is Haitian.”

© 2016 The Canadian Press

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