Police: No evidence cop involved in woman's murder

Monday, June 19, 2017

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THE Police say an investigation has been launched into the murder of 20-year-old Shantel Wright, whose body was discovered last Friday in a canefield in Little London, Westmoreland.

The woman's relatives and other community members, who mounted a roadblock, alleged that Wright was last seen alive on Wednesday in the company of a senior police officer stationed in Westmoreland, and called for the senior officer to answer certain questions. She was an employee of the Savanna-la-Mar Police Station.

The Police High Command, in a statement issued to the media yesterday, said it is aware of allegations of the possible involvement of one of its police officers.

“The officer against whom this allegation has been made has been reassigned and is cooperating fully with investigators. At this time, the police have no evidence of this officer's involvement with this crime. However, we are pursuing a full investigation with the sole objective of identifying the person or persons responsible.

“We will keep the public informed of the progress of the investigation. In the meantime, we are appealing to citizens to be calm and to share any information that can assist us during the course of the investigation,” the statement read.

According to family members, Wright was at a party hosted by her mother at a small shop in the community on Wednesday night.

About 11:30 pm she decided to leave the party and was said to have been driven home by the lawman, a short distance from where the event was being hosted.

The Independent Commission of Investigation (INDECOM) had stepped in to probe the death of Wright.

Yesterday, Westmoreland Western Member of Parliament, Dr Wykeham McNeill condemned the killing and called for urgent action to stem the bloodletting in the parish.

McNeill said he joined the nation's families who are mourning the loss of their loved ones as a result of the unprecedented upsurge in crime across the island.

“In less than a week the body of another beautiful young woman has been discovered in western Westmoreland, the victim of a gruesome assault by unknown assailants,” said McNeill.

He noted that after speaking with the victim's mother, he felt her pain and anguish as she struggled to come to terms with the reality that her daughter has become a victim of the senseless murder wave affecting the country.

“We must take back our country from the hoodlums who seek to instil fear in our people. It is extremely disturbing that our women and children are becoming the targets of these heinous crimes.

“The country must return to the days when people felt that justice was certain and that the law would always be able to protect the most vulnerable amongst us,” he stressed.

The Opposition spokesman on tourism urged the Government to act quickly, because areas of the country which enjoyed relative peace and tranquillity are now being affected by shocking episodes of crime.

“Where is the targeted crime plan, inclusive of social intervention programmes, promised a few months ago?” McNeill questioned.

In expressing his condolences to the family, he called on all law-abiding citizens to cooperate with the investigation by providing information to the police, while urging law enforcement officers to be relentless in bringing those responsible to justice.

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