The Dominican CARDI worker found dead in a diplomatic vehicle in Kingstown around 11 p.m. on June 18 — Father’s Day — and his licensed firearm missing, died of a single gunshot to the head, an autopsy has revealed.
Meanwhile, police have released the person they had taken into custody, who had reported that the deceased, Gregory Linton, a 43-year-old resident of Glen, was dead in the vehicle.
Police have not commented since releasing a terse statement last week about the death of the representative of the Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI) in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
Linton, who was based in Kingstown since 2017, is said to have had diplomatic status.
The vehicle in which his body was found had a “CD” registration plate, indicating that it was accorded diplomatic status and privileges.
The vehicle, a blue Toyota Hilux, was parked outside the Kingstown Preparatory School, across from the Ministry of Agriculture, in Richmond Hill.
Linton’s body, which police said was “partially decomposed” was found in the passenger seat of the car by a male, who is said to have been a long-time friend of the agriculturalist.
Sources have told iWitness News that Linton was scheduled to leave St. Vincent on the Friday before he was found dead.
Meanwhile, in a June 20 statement, CARDI expressed “unbelievable shock and deep sadness” at Linton’s death.
“Prior to his passing Greg was involved in the implementation of the Regional Coconut and Sweet Potato projects in St. Vincent and the Grenadines,” the Trinidad-based CARICOM agency said in a statement posted to Facebook.
CARDI said that the week before his death, Linton participated in a regional coconut workshop in Grenada where he shared his experiences with managing coconut pests.
“Perhaps one of Greg’s most significant achievements was being part of a team which developed a locally-produced lime sulphur base organic post-harvest treatment for dasheen. This treatment allowed farmers to successfully restart export to the lucrative European market,” CARDI said.
“At the time of his passing he was working with local and international partners to fine tune this treatment as well as test more environmentally friendly pesticides as post-harvest treatment options.
“Greg was the face of CARDI on multi agency teams that conducted post disaster risk assessment for the agricultural sector following natural disasters across CARICOM. He was involved in assessments following the passage of Hurricane Maria (Dominica, 2017), Hurricane Dorian (the Bahamas, 2019), flooding (Guyana, 2021) and the eruption of La Soufrière volcano (St Vincent and the Grenadines, 2021). His leadership on these missions was always efficient and highly commendable, facilitating quick decision making, to minimize loss of livelihoods and reduced suffering.”
CARDI said Linton was an outstanding researcher.
“He will be remembered by his CARDI family as a dedicated, compassionate professional always willing to go the extra mile — many times at short notice. His sound technical insights will be missed.”
Police have asked members of the public who have information that can help with the investigation to call 1-784-456-1810 or 1-784-457-1211 ext. 4837 or 999/911.
“All calls will be treated confidentially,” police said.
Linton was one of two people shot and killed in SVG last week.
On June 19, Rillan Hill resident, Nigel “Urk” Louie, a 39-year-old special needs man, was felled in a hail of gunshots when two assailants opened fired on him at a roadside hang-out spot in the South Leeward village.
Louie’s death brought the homicide count in SVG this year to 23. The count includes three people shot and killed by police in the line of duty.