By Makeida Antonio
What would have ordinarily been a peaceful Sunday morning in the Burma area behind the VC Bird International Airport was marred by tragedy as police and family members converged on a crime scene and identified the body of a woman who was reported missing the day before.
Yesterday, officers attached to the Serious Crimes Unit of the Royal Police Force of Antigua and Barbuda launched their investigations into an apparent homicide, after the body of 25-year-old Neltah Telemaque of Hosford Hill, Liberta was discovered around 7:17 am.
A livestock farmer who was attending to his animals stumbled upon Telemaque’s body which seemingly bore multiple wounds, and he subsequently notified the police. A medical doctor arrived at the scene and pronounced Telemaque dead at approximately 10:12 am.
Police Spokesperson, Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Frankie Thomas told Observer that investigations remain ongoing.
“The investigations as we speak are ongoing. Right now, the police are following several leads and that is as much as we are prepared to say at this time as we continue investigations into this matter,” Thomas said yesterday.
Around 5:20 pm on Saturday, a relative of Telemaque called into Observer’s Snakepit show to alert listeners of the young woman’s disappearance. Telemaque’s fiancé Nehemiah Tittle shared his own missing person post on social media as well.
ASP Thomas asserted that investigations into the missing person’s report made at the Liberta Police Station by Tittle on Saturday afternoon began immediately.
“We did receive a report into a missing person, of course that was pursued. The investigations commenced immediately and it is unfortunate that this is the end result we are seeing here this morning,” he claimed.
The police have once again urged the public to refrain from sharing information that may be false or otherwise unable to be verified, as this can not only affect the case but the victim’s family and friends.
“It is one of the most troubling issues that we face ever so often. I would have issued several press releases concerning the inconsiderateness and recklessness by members of the general public who continue to resort to social media to spread misinformation that cannot be corroborated or confirmed by the police,” ASP Thomas reiterated.
Shock and anguish were visible on the faces of a number of Telemaque’s family members who were at the crime scene as they tried to comfort each other and put together the puzzle pieces in an effort to understand how and why she ended up dead in the bushes miles away from her home.
Her father, Glade Telemaque gave details into the tragedy from the missing person’s report on Saturday afternoon right up until the discovery was made on Sunday morning.
“I’d just like to say I’m here by the crime scene where they found my daughter Neltah Telemaque. My name is Glade Telemaque and I live in Hosford Hill, Liberta and I just found my daughter’s body since yesterday my daughter left home. I tried to wait until 6 o’clock this morning, if I don’t see her, to make a report, which I went and did. But yesterday I went to the police station after them and her fiancé came to get me at my home and we had a talk there.
“I told them if anything I would come back, which I did go back this morning. After that, the Adventist pastor called me and told me he heard they have a body here and I come down here and verified that it is she. I pray to God that the police do their job and find the killer,” Telemaque’s father told Observer yesterday.
He further described his daughter as a quiet individual who was not known to be in conflict with anyone.
“She was a very quiet person. Anybody that know her, even a neighbour that we not talking for years come to me crying and say ‘oh God, that could not be Neltah, that is impossible’, because she knows Neltah is a quiet person. She is not in anything with nobody, so she knows that is impossible for somebody to get up and do something like that,” he shared.
The deceased woman’s twin brother, Deion Telemaque, reported his suspicions about Telemaque’s death, saying that he does not believe the murder took place at Burma.
“My name is Deion Telemaque and the girl that everybody say is missing is my sister. I was the one to confirm the body and it is her. To my sight, I don’t think what happened to her happened at this site. I believe the body was just dumped there like they killed her and dumped the body there because there’s no blood at the site,” he said yesterday on the crime scene.
Deion also said that although he did not see his sister often, they recently spent time together. He reflected on her character and found it difficult to process his sister’s death.
“We went to the beach last week Sunday with her fiancé. We enjoyed ourselves, I enjoyed myself and we go back home. Everything was good. She was a very nice person, loving person; sometimes we would have our downfall but she would always be the person to uplift you. I never know her as a person to have enemies, that’s why I still find this so hard,” Telemaque’s brother told Observer.
Meanwhile, Kevin Samuel of All Saints surrendered himself at St John’s Police Station around 2 pm yesterday after the police issued a wanted bulletin with the instructions to turn himself in at any police station without delay.
The police believed that Samuel has useful information which can assist them in their ongoing investigations.
Anyone with further information into this matter is being asked to contact the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) at 462-3913 or any police station.