Search still on for mur­derer of teen

The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL -

By Nasha Smith

Af­ter a three month respite, the sud­den spate of vi­o­lence con­tin­ues with the mur­der of 18-year-old Marvin An­thony Au­gustin of Grand Riviere, Gros-Islet. The teen’s body was dis­cov­ered on the Trouya Beach at ap­prox­i­mately 1:30 pm on Tues­day af­ter­noon af­ter he was re­ported miss­ing shortly be­fore. Au­gustin was last seen on Mon­day evening and the cir­cum­stances sur­round­ing his fi­nal hours are rife with spec­u­la­tion.

Ac­cord­ing to a source who has cho­sen to re­main uniden­ti­fied, Au­gustin met a Ja­maican male on a so­cial net­work­ing site and made plans to meet at the beach on the evening of Mon­day April 20th. Be­fore em­bark­ing on the en­counter, he shared cor­re­spon­dence and a pic­ture of his com­pan­ion with his best friend, with the omi­nous in­struc­tion to con­tact his mother should he not re­turn home at a cer­tain time. When Au­gustin failed to ma­te­ri­al­ize on Tues­day morn­ing, alarmed friends went out in search and paid a visit to the Ja­maican na­tional he was be­lieved to have met. Alarm bells went off when the Bois d’Or­ange res­i­dent de­nied any knowl­edge of Au­gustin but, when con­fronted with ev­i­dence and threats of the po­lice, the man took off run­ning. Law en­force­ment was con­tacted and a search of the beach led to the grue­some dis­cov­ery of Au­gustin’s life­less body, his throat slit.

New re­ports in­di­cate that the young man was also stabbed over 50 times, adding an­other layer of mys­tery to the bru­tal crime. It is al­leged that Au­gustin was “gay” and the heinous na­ture of his wounds point to a pos­si­ble hate crime. In­ci­dents like th­ese are not un­known in Saint Lu­cia. Over the past ten years alone, sev­eral mem­bers of the LGBT (Les­bian, Gay, Bi­sex­ual and Trans­gen­dered) com­mu­nity have met un­timely demises in sim­i­larly macabre fash­ion. In a 2012 in­ter­view with the STAR, Co-Ex­ec­u­tive Direc­tor of Saint Lu­cia’s United and Strong Inc and Eastern Caribbean Co-or­di­na­tor at Car­iFLAGS (Caribbean Fo­rum for Lib­er­a­tion and Ac­cep­tance of Gen­ders and Sex­u­al­i­ties), Kenita Placide doc­u­mented the list.

“Abuses have taken place. We have had deaths of gay men that are still un­solved or un­re­solved. We had the death of Verne Ro­mu­lus, the death of Ger­maine Nestor, the death of Marcellus Au­gustin; we had the death of Ethel­bert ‘Romeo’ Eve­lyn in Den­nery. Th­ese were openly gay peo­ple and th­ese cases were not cases where they were just killed. Th­ese killings were bru­tal, with mul­ti­ple stab wounds and beat­ings. There have been gay peo­ple who have been beaten in the street. So­ci­ety tar­gets the highly ef­fem­i­nate guys and the butch look­ing women. Some have been raped. They get ver­bally abused on a daily ba­sis. And what works against them is the fear of re­port­ing th­ese in­ci­dents. Peo­ple are in­ter­nal­iz­ing things, in­stead of seek­ing help.”

At press time, po­lice have still not lo­cated their prime sus­pect or made his photo avail­able to the public to ex­pe­dite his cap­ture.

One of the many self­ies of 18-year-old Marvin An­thony Au­gustin of Grand Riviere. Was his mur­der a hate

crime?

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