Lover questioned in beauty queen murder

Alisha Hunte's body is removed from the crime scene (Photo by David Pascal. Right: The former Carnival Queen contestant flashes a smile in 2009 (photo by Rick Wayne)

As the rain beat down on everyone standing watch outside Alisha Hunte’s home in Trouya on Wednesday, May 18 a sense of disbelief lingered. Even though police had cordoned off the house, no one wanted to believe the 22-year-old was dead.
Karaoke from a nearby bar was in stark contrast to the scene just a few yards away. “Couldn’t they just turn it down a little?” one woman questioned aloud, but her comment went unnoticed by most. People stayed on the scene long after Alisha’s body was finally removed from her apartment. The music was a sign of life going on as usual, even though a young woman, a former National Carnival Queen contestant was found murdered in her apartment.
In addition to her participation in the 2009 Carnival Queen Show, you may also remember Alisha as one of the young women featured in the STAR newspaper’s Starlet section in 2010.
According to police reports, the young woman originally from Anse La Raye was found dead in her bathroom about 5:30pm on Wednesday, May 18. Her body was discovered by her roommate with multiple stab wounds to her abdomen, neck and back area.
Based on the nature of the crime, on Wednesday night investigators told family and friends they would not expose them to the primary scene.
“I know the anxiety but emotions would make it difficult,” a female investigator said. “I would advise against viewing here.”
She explained that police didn’t want the situation to get out of control and to avoid cross contamination there would be no viewing as all the processing would not be completed that night. The only two persons permitted within the restricted area were Alisha’s cousin and roommate who discovered her body.
The crowd waited around, almost as if they were hoping the crime would be solved right there and then. Questions flew about: “Why didn’t anyone intervene? Didn’t anyone hear her screaming?”
When asked, one of Alisha’s neighbours told the STAR: “You think just so you’ll hear ro-ro and run into someone’s house? Everyone keeps to themselves. I guess people around here know it’s a safe neighbourhood. Some would look at it as a lover’s quarrel, nothing much.”
Neighbours heard screams and report seeing Alisha’s boyfriend leaving the scene.  As the crowd continued to stare news began circulating that a young man related to the case had turned himself in to the Gros Islet Police Station.
On Wednesday night Alisha’s older brother Carl Hunte said he was staying strong for his younger siblings, but revealed news of her death hadn’t digested yet. Alisha’s death wasn’t the first tragic one for the family, her then 24-year-old brother Royston Hunte was fatally shot in the Beausejour area eight years ago and the incident remains unresolved.
On a DBS news broadcast Alisha’s mother could barely speak through her grief, but she confirmed her daughter had been pregnant.
“I was elated,” the woman said through tears. “She told me she was expecting for him and she introduced him to me . . . I don’t know exactly what’s going on. I went to the hospital and when I saw it was 9pm and they hadn’t brought her I said she’s dead. If she wasn’t they wouldn’t take so much time to come with her. I didn’t even get to speak to her . . . ”
Alisha visited again on her mother’s birthday on May 15 and the woman says her intuition told her something was wrong.
“You could have seen they had a problem,” the girl’s mother said. “She told me she was by my mother and he was supposed to pick her up but he didn’t. I said, “Alisha for that you vex?” I didn’t have the time to speak with her to know what was the problem.”
Alisha’s final BB status forces friends to face the reality that she’s gone. “Lord take my hands and lead me through,” her message reads.                 One of Alisha’s friends and former coworkers, a distraught Tamica Gaskin told the STAR: “I feel hurt, I feel sad . . . I feel like that’s the worse punishment someone can ever give to me, because the last time I spoke to Alisha we were quarreling—that was in January. I never spoke to her after that. We didn’t get the chance to speak and for me to know she died, it really touched me. It really hurt.”
“We worked together in 2008,” she continued. “Last year she came back to work at Wings of Love and we would do promotions together. We got closer when she needed a place to stay and she moved in with me in November last year. We were like sisters. She’d comfort me if I cried, I’d comfort her if she cried… we’d share our stuff, we’d argue, laugh, go out together.”
Alisha moved out and found a new place in January, and resigned from her job at Wings of Love sometime in April. Tamica says she remembers Alisha’s boyfriend vividly as he’d always come to see Alisha in their old apartment.
“Let me tell you, he was a nice calm guy,” Tamica said. “I never heard him shout after her, curse her. I never saw him mistreat her. But you’d always see Alisha sad and depressed. Maybe they had their own secret arguments, but she never really told me because she knew I would say something and advise her to leave him or something. He looked like such an innocent fella, such an innocent face.”
In words of newfound wisdom, Alisha’s 19-year-old friend went on: “Every girl can relate to this because stuff happens in St Lucia like that. Men always take advantage by beating their girlfriends, and I thank God I’m alive. Men nowadays you can’t put trust into them; they will lie, cheat, mistreat you. You will think you love them and they love you but it’s nothing close to that. Alisha was always bubbly, always laughing, she’d always put smile on your face. She’d be at work by the makeup station dancing and laughing. She would be sad and she would put on a front to make you feel better in the present. I find a lot of people are taking her death seriously. To see a lot of the people who didn’t even like her come crying, that’s really sad. It’s teaching all of us a lesson because I’m taking it as a lesson to never hold a grudge.”
Even more ironic than the lyrics from Enrique Iglesias’s “Hero” spewing from the karaoke event the night the young woman was found dead in her apartment are the lyrics of the only song she ever recorded through Linx Studios. In a song entitled “No Place in This World” Alisha croons: “Ain’t no place in this world, ladies understand, for a real black woman to put up with a cheating man . . .”
Tempest founder Christopher Hunte who wrote the track expressed condolences to her family and told the STAR: “When I write for people I try to write their truth. That song was based on her first relationship. She was about 19 when it was recorded. While we were sitting, vibing in the creative process the line “No Place in This World” sort of jumped out. Now it’s like a recurring decimal. It feels almost prophetic. It’s her only recorded song and that’s the one people are going to remember her by.
“Anybody who knows her knows there’s an obvious comparison to Nicki Minaj,” Hunte said. “She started as a dancer and she wanted to sing. Her problem was that she needed a chance. When she got it she was pretty much on her way, but her in St Lucia was like a speedboat on dry land. Her problem was not ambition but her environment.”
Alisha first entered the pageant world then known as Alisha Ferguson with the Teen Talent International Competition. The winner of that pageant, another contestant Sannyu James went onto the Hal Jackson International Pageant. Both girls were 15 years old at the time and both went onto taking part in the National Carnival Queen Show though in different years. Alisha also participated in the Miss Aquaval Queen Show in Carriacou in 2010 where she won the “Most Intelligent” and “Photogenic” titles.
Alisha worked part time with SoFyerie Promotions, and group leader 19-year-old Conseulo Dupal says the girls are finding it difficult to come to terms with the loss of their “truly beautiful, vibrant and confident member.”
“Death is always hard, but when it happens so tragically it becomes even more difficult to comprehend. Alisha was always the life of the party on our promotions. We often called her “Nicki Minaj” as she shared a slight resemblance with the artiste and she accepted the nickname with open arms, frequently using the response “Cause I’m Nicki” as the reason for any and everything she said or did. Alisha knew exactly what to say to put a smile on our faces or produce a hearty laugh. We will always remember her radiant smile and that sexy “heavy-T bumper” we often teased her about. We love and miss her dearly and she will definitely live on through our promotions.”
A post mortem examination will be scheduled at a later date. According to police, no one has been charged with the incident. Up till press time Alisha’s family says they had not seen her body nor have they been given the name of the “person of interest” officially from police. However from word of inside sources, Alisha’s brother told the STAR they knew for a fact the man who is said to be still in police custody is Alisha’s boyfriend.
“We haven’t heard anything official from the police,” he said. “We should know by the end of today when the autopsy is.”

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