Body Identified … Finally!

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.

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

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

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.

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