IS CASE OF SLAIN TEEN TURNING COLD?
By Nasha Smith
While perusing a social media site on Wednesday morning I caught my first look at the “alleged” prime suspect in the slaying of 18-year-old Marvin Anthony Augustin. Interestingly enough, the information did not come from the pages of the Royal St Lucia Police Force. It was a photo being shared by concerned citizens intent on making the effort which appears to be lacking from law enforcement. In fact a cursory glance at the RSLPF FB page yielded several other interesting tidbits: profiles of police officers, clever photos of the day, interesting quotes, and even the many benefits of bananas. Did you know this multi-faceted fruit increases happiness?
This information is little comfort to the family and friends of Augustin who are still searching for answers in the grisly death of the teen whose body was discovered on the Trouya beach on April 21st. A post mortem revealed the young man had been stabbed approximately 50 times in addition to having his throat slit.
Augustin, who was believed to be homosexual, was last known to be heading to the beach with a man he met on a social networking site.
In the past our local police have been vocal about wanting, even needing, the help of the public. Community policing it’s called. Just this past March, while criminals were giving people the chance that Prime Minister Kenny Anthony famously asked for (or did he?), senior constable Zachary Hippolyte, attached to the Public Relations Department, gave an interview touting this method of crime detection. He highlighted the success of the ‘meet the commissioner’ programme and of the initiatives undertaken by communities to aid the police in crime resolution.
After a peaceful January, police commissioner Vernon Francois waxed poetic about the achievement and attributed the feat to the public’s involvement.
In this case the proactivity was at its finest. The cops were basically handed the gift of a case with tangible leads. The fish was seemingly caught. All that was left to do was reel it in.
Consider this: Augustin may have ironically provided the biggest tip of all. Whether a matter of tragic foreshadowing or a random conversation between friends, the young man left quite a trail. Not only did he share bits of exchanges between them but also photos which would prove critical.
It was this information that friends used in their own search for Augustin when he failed to make contact. Their amateur sleuthing led them to the home of the Jamaican national who the teen was scheduled to meet. Unfortunately, when confronted the Bois d’Orange resident fled the scene and hasn’t been seen since. Many fear that their greatest hope in solving this murder may have already skipped town; fears which are not being allayed by the failure of police to circulate photos immediately.
Augustin was laid to rest on Wednesday afternoon.
GOVERNMENT OF SAINT LUCIA