Police not very hopeful businessman will be found


Police not very hopeful businessman will be found

Thursday, October 29, 2020

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THE police in St Elizabeth say they have little hope in recovering the body of businessman Andre Burnett, who is presumed dead after he went swimming in Treasure Beach, St Elizabeth, on Sunday and has not been seen since.

Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Leroy Minott told the Jamaica Observer yesterday that human remains which have surfaced on the coast in the parish are to be tested to determine if they are linked to Burnett, who is suspected to have drowned.

“The search continued into yesterday [but] nothing concrete has been found. We have seen, over the last couple of days, what appears to be flesh, seemingly human flesh, washing up in a couple of areas nearby. So, [a] DNA test will be done eventually, so that's the direction we're looking in,” DSP Minott said.

Burnett, a popular marketer, is said to have gone on a weekend getaway with his family and went for a swim at the beach linked to the resort where he was a guest.

He was reportedly waist-deep in the water, known for its strong undercurrents, when he was covered by a wave.

An alarm was reportedly raised by family members but the 34-year-old Balaclava native has not resurfaced.

“As days go by, it's not looking so positive in terms of us retrieving the body. If the signs are any indication, that's even more suggestive given that we're seeing what appears to be portions of body parts washing up — so it's not looking very hopeful,” said Minott.

The police told the Observer on Monday that they were unable to carry out a search and rescue operation immediately after the incident, citing inclement weather.

The Jamaica Defence Force was called in to provide assistance.

Burnett, a Munro College old boy, is among three people to have lost their lives as the outer bands of Tropical Storm Zeta impacted the island on the weekend.

Forty-two-year-old landscaper Romeo Leachman and his 15-year-old daughter, Sanique, were killed in a landslide in Shooter's Hill, Bull Bay, St Andrew, on Friday.

The father and daughter were reportedly asleep inside their house when the landslide swept the wooden structure down a slope in a section of the community called Toby's Gully or Passion Gardens.

— Kimone Francis

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