Police in St Vincent and the Grenadines say they suspect a “modus operandi” after four persons were murdered, sometime between Sunday evening and Monday morning.
Two of the victims were a mother and son killed in their New Montrose House, a stone’s throw from the official residence of Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves, who is out of state, and the Old Montrose Police Station.
Deputy chief detective, Assistant Superintendent of Police, Clauston Francis, told reporters at the scene in Montrose that police have in custody a suspect in relation to at least one of the murders.
He said all four victims had “gruesome” injuries to the head.
He said that in Old Montrose, police responded to a call where the body of Ronald Israel, about 40-year-old, was found in the porch of the house where he lives with his mother, with his head smashed in.
Ronald’s mother, Avis Israel, who is around 80, was found dead in a bedroom with similar injuries.
Francis also confirmed that police were investigating the killing of Pamela Williams, about 50 years old, which occurred at her home in Kingstown Park, a community just outside the capital, late Sunday.
Nicolas Layne, about 30 years old, died of head injuries in the Coco area of Campden Park, a community west of Kingstown.
Francis also confirmed that the police had in custody a suspect who was arrested at Williams’ home in Kingstown Park about the time he was killed.
“A gentleman was arrested during the time of Ms Williams’ death at Kingstown Park and he is presently in police custody assisting police with their investigation. He is in the mid-30s, from my information,” Francis told reporters, adding that the suspect is said to be from Sandy Bay, a community in northeastern St Vincent.
Sources told the Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC) that the suspect is being treated in hospital for injuries he sustained when villagers inflicted a serious beating on him.
Asked if police were working on any theories, Francis said, “All we have at this moment is that the injuries are very similar, very gruesome and the injuries are to the heads of the victims. So we believe there is some modus operandi from those injuries. And, as I indicated, the incident at Kingstown Park, the gentleman was met at the scene of the incident. So we believe he may have been involved, one way or the other in that matter.”
He said police do not suspect anything was stolen from the Israel’s home, but noted that the glass of the front door was shattered, as well as the glass in a bedroom window, which had burglar bars.
A family friend of the Israels, Declon Lynch of Block 2000, a neighbouring community, made the gruesome discovery at the house when he went to check up on the woman and her son, at the request of one of her daughters.
Meanwhile, St Clair Leacock, Member of Parliament for Central Kingstown, where three of the murders took place, told reporters that the killings were “an extremely dark hour for us”.
Leacock said that the latest killings must be contrasted against what has happened over the last few weeks, “save and except to make mention of the fact that some seem to have been drug or gang related, whereas these seem unexplained at the moment”.
Leacock said that the solution to the matter goes beyond the political divide “in which all of us have to be charged with going back to the drawing board, going back to the root of what is wrong in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, whether these things are being driven by the drug culture; whether we are, in fact, witnessing the inhumanity of man; whether it is the jobless nature of the society that is bringing this upon us, or just the plain absence of Christen or human feelings in what we are doing.”