Body Iden­ti­fied … Fi­nally!

The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL - By Toni Ni­cholas

At a press con­fer­ence on Thurs­day Oc­to­ber 9, po­lice com­mis­sioner Ver­non Fran­cois gave the de­tails that lead to the match be­tween a young man who had gone miss­ing in April of this year and a body found at Marisule around the same time. It is that of 19-year-old Li­nus Con­stan­tine, some­thing that mem­bers of the gen­eral pub­lic as well as mem­bers of his fam­ily had long con­cluded. And while fam­ily mem­bers can now bring some clo­sure in this in­stance, they are hop­ing that his per­per­tra­tor or per­per­tra­tors will be brought to jus­tice.

In May of this year Mindy Chiquot, brother of the de­ceased, told the STAR that Con­stan­tine had dis­ap­peared soon after cel­e­brat­ing his birth­day on March 24. She said she last spoke to him on April 8 when they had dis­cussed what he wanted for his birth­day. “We made ar­range­ments to meet but he never showed up. When I had not heard from him for four days I tried call­ing him. I got his voice mail and thought he was ei­ther busy or had changed his num­ber. He did that quite of­ten,” Chiqout told the STAR. A few days later she learned his cousin had re­ported Con­stan­tine miss­ing.

From that point Li­nus’s fam­ily, friends and the var­i­ous youth groups and or­ga­ni­za­tions in­clud­ing the NYC put out calls for any­one with in­for­ma­tion to come for­ward, to no avail.

Mean­while po­lice searched for clues in iden­ti­fy­ing the body of a partly de­com­posed male found at Marisule beach on April 15, 2014. Con­stan­tine’s par­ents, des­per­ate for an­swers, later pro­vided po­lice with DNA sam­ples.

At Thurs­day’s press con­fer­ence the po­lice com­mis­sioner dis­closed that the body found was in­deed that of Li­nus Con­stan­tine.

Ac­cord­ing to Fran­cois a post mortem on Con­stan­tine’s body by pathol­o­gist Dr. Stephen King re­vealed that he died of ex­ten­sive head in­juries sec­ondary to blunt force trauma.

Pro­vid­ing the me­dia with fur­ther de­tails Fran­cois said: “The in­ves­ti­gat­ing team spoke with a foren­sic of­fi­cial, Dr. Stephen Simp­son, who was sum­moned to re­con­struct the den­tal struc­ture of the de­ceased. It was re­vealed that five teeth were miss­ing.”

Fur­ther, a thor­ough search was con­ducted at the crime scene and the five miss­ing teeth were re­cov­ered. On Tues­day, May 8, the right and left thumb print records of Con­stan­tine were re­trieved from the Elec­toral Depart­ment and taken to the Crim­i­nal Records Of­fice. The right and left thumb prints of the de­com­posed body found on Marisule beach were also taken to the of­fice for anal­y­sis and com­par­i­son. It was later re­vealed that the two sets of fin­ger­prints matched.”

As part of the in­ves­ti­ga­tion on June 2 ar­ti­cles were re­cov­ered from the res­i­dence of Con­stan­tine and taken to the foren­sic lab for DNA anal­y­sis. Fur­ther, on Septem­ber 10, the lab sug­gested the pos­si­bil­ity of pulp in the de­ceased, that might have been use­ful for DNA test­ing. Lab per­son­nel then com­menced the pro­ce­dure of ex­tract­ing two mo­lars and one in­cisor from the de­ceased and then cut­ting through the teeth to ex­pose the ap­par­ent pulp. After the pro­ce­dure was com­pleted, the teeth ex­tracts were sub­mit­ted to the lab for DNA test­ing.

The po­lice chief went on to say that on Septem­ber 5, as­sis­tance was sought from re­tired In­spec­tor of Po­lice Stephen Chicot, who was pro­vided with the finger­print im­pres­sions. He ex­am­ined and com­pared the fin­ger­prints and no­ticed that it was a per­fect match. Con­fir­ma­tion was also re­ceived from the Royal Gre­nada Po­lice Force where an ex­pert com­pared the fin­ger­prints and in­formed lo­cal po­lice that they in­deed matched.

“The body was re­turned on Oc­to­ber 8 to Dr. Stephen King who was sat­is­fied with the re­sults and the pathol­o­gist amended the post mortem doc­u­ments to in­clude Con­stan­tine’s name,” Fran­cois stated.

Con­stan­tine’s rel­a­tives were in­formed of the re­sults and the pos­i­tive ID Thurs­day morn­ing at which time po­lice handed over his body to them.

Dur­ing the course of this stage of the in­ves­ti­ga­tion po­lice held one sus­pect for ques­tion­ing who was sub­se­quently re­leased. Con­stan­tine is just one in a num­ber of life­less bod­ies dis­cov­ered this year which has spiked the homi­cide num­ber to 24. The case of the charred re­mains of hote­lier Oliver Go­bat and a num­ber of oth­ers re­main un­solved.

Li­nus Con­stan­tine: The as­pir­ing youth leader who ad­vo­cated for more op­por­tu­ni­ties for young peo­ple in

Saint Lu­cia.

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