A young woman has been charged with the murder of Britisher and long-time resident of Saint Lucia, John Robert Hathaway 10 months after his slaying.
And the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force is calling on Saint Lucians to bear patience with its homicide investigators in cases that seem to have gone cold as they are working assiduously toward solving these cases as was the case with the Hathaway incident – the first homicide for 2019.
The murder of Hathaway in January of this year rocked Saint Lucia and drew international spotlight on the island as British news outlets focused on the tragedy.
Hathaway, 68 at the time of his death, was reported by the British press as being found covered in blood at his home in Piat, Grande Riviere, Gros Islet by a neighbour.
Local police launched a murder investigation right away but, as the months passed, many thought that the case had cooled off and was in the throes of being labelled a cold case. However, police were not of the same view and 10 months after the discovery of Hathaway’s dead body, someone has been arrested and charged with his murder.
Elizabeth Janelle Volney, 22, of TiMorne, Union in Castries was arrested last Friday and charged a day later with Hathaway’s murder. She was taken to court yesterday and remanded in police custody. She is expected back in court next week Wednesday.
Wayne Charlery, the man in charge of crime management in the police force explained that the investigation had to be done right so that the case can pass the test of intense scrutiny in a court of law.
He highlighted three main areas of vital importance to lawmen in their fight against crime which he says continue to be of tremendous assistance to them. He named the three areas as intelligence support, forensic/technical support and community support.
Under community support he had much praise for Saint Lucians calling on them to continue using the crime hotline number 452-7463.
“I want persons to continue using the crime hotline. It is a fantastic tool for fighting crime and an invaluable tool used by the police force in fighting crime,” Charlery said.
There are crimes that will take time to solve, crimes that will take a multi-faceted approach to solving and that is something Charlery says he wants the public to understand.
He referenced the case of Trinidadian Richie Rambass and Venezuelan Vincente Jose Mendoza Pacheco who were both murdered on December 23, 2017 in Vieux Fort and which, after a year, police were able to arrest and charge Fernil Sexius for the double homicide.
That case ran hot for a while, cooled off and later revived ending in Sexius, a Saint Lucian, being charged.
“The police force is doing its utmost in apprehending perpetrators of crime. No matter how far back we are, we are looking at solving all these crimes. We will be at it,” Charlery said.
He added that the police force is not in a perfect situation and that the Government of Saint Lucia was doing all it could to support the police force given its constraints and limitations.
Another case that continues to be kept in the public domain is that of Kimberley de Leon who was murdered at her home at Morne Fortune one year ago.
Family members of Kimberley have been calling for justice for her and say they will never stop protesting and calling on police to solve the case. Her family has said publically that they are yet to receive an update from police on the progress of investigations and that they are in a lot of pain as a result. The case is 12 months old and counting.
Police on the other hand say they have done their due diligence on the case and will do what it takes to get the perpetrator/s so that justice can prevail.
In the case of Kimberley de Leon, Charlery said police have done nothing less than what they do on other cases and that they have persevered in their investigations with discipline. That case file is now in the possession of the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution.