The homicide count in St. Vincent and the Grenadines for 2017 has moved up to 19 with the death last week of an elderly Green Hill woman, the sixth killing in July.
A post mortem examination has concluded that Deloris Campbell, 66, of Green Hill, died of asphyxiation — the state or process of being deprived of oxygen.
Police say that the decomposing body of the woman, who lived alone, was found in her house last Friday, July 21, with her hands and feet bound with tape.
Also ruled as a homicide is the death of the man whose decomposing body was found in Yambou on July 9.
The dead man has been identified as 55-year-old Godwin Sam, also known as “Scorcher”, of Sion Hill.
Sam’s body, whose face had decomposed beyond recognition, was identified by his brother, police say.
Police say that Sam’s brother was able to identify him by a mark on his body and something on his foot.
However, while the puzzle of the man’s identity is solved, police are no clearer about how he died.
A post mortem conducted on Sam’s remains were inconclusive.
Sam lived a checkered life of crime and was on a police wanted list as recently as last year.
In March 2016, police were on the hunt for Sam, saying he was wanted in connection with their investigations into a burglary at Triple S Super Market in Layou.
In addition to the deaths of Campbell and Sam, police are also investigating four other homicides that occurred in July.
Henry Jackson, a 69-year-old retired chauffeur, of La Croix, died on July 11 after being stabbed during a domestic dispute, allegedly involving his wife.
He was pronounced dead on arrival at the Evesham Health Centre sometime around 11 p.m. that day.
Jackson’s widow, Hermina Jackson, has been charged with murder in connection with his death.
On July 8, the homicide count went up by three when three men, including a national footballer, were shot and killed in two separate incidents.
The footballer, Roy “Chicken” Richards, 34, died in hospital in Kingstown after being shot in his hometown, Barrouallie.
Another person, Daniel “Bogan” Hepburn, a 78-year-old businessman also of the Central Leeward town, died at the scene after being shot in the same incident sometime around 9 p.m.
Earlier that night, at approximately 7 p.m., police responded to a report and found that Kemmie Haynes, a 34-year-old labourer of Green Hill, had been shot in the Central Kingstown community.
He was pronounced dead on arrival at the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital.