By Elesha George
In the absence of eyewitness accounts to assist the police with three unsolved murders of 2020, Commissioner of Police Atlee Rodney tells Observer that law enforcement officers will have to rely on ‘circumstantial evidence.’
“In his case and even the two other cases, there is no eyewitness. There is no real evidence of someone stepping forward and saying, ‘I saw’ or ‘I heard,’ so we have to be working all the leads we have to see if we can build a case on circumstantial evidence, and that is what we are pursuing,” he explained.
Among the cases left unsolved are that of 32-year-old Troy Neyland Baptiste who was recorded as the first murder victim of 2020 in Antigua and Barbuda. His body was found on the roadside in Bendals with multiple gunshot wounds.
Forty-five-year old Dave Anthony, the country’s third murder victim was also shot multiple times through a metal door at the back of his house in Potters.
Then there is the case of the killing of 44-year-old Nigel Christian.
Christian was a Customs and Excise Officer who was kidnapped from his home in July, at the height of the coronavirus pandemic.
He was taken in the presence of his mother, only to have his bullet-riddled body discovered on the roadside. The man’s sister, in a Facebook post, reported that four men, dressed in army clothing, had entered the house with guns and taken Christian away.
Several months later, no arrests have been made in any of the above cases, even after local police solicited assistance from regional law enforcement partners, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Scotland Yard in at least one of them.
The Commissioner of Police however remains optimistic that his officers can bring some closure in these cases in the new year, remarking that a lot of work has already been done.
“For instance with those cases there, you have to do a lot of forensic analysis and that is being done,” he said.
He added that despite the challenges law enforcement officers faced this year, they were able to solve six of the nine homicides on record.
On Wednesday, a group dubbed Concerned Citizens will gather again to demand an immediate external investigation into Christian’s killing.