The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL -

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.


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