Local police continue to say they cannot confirm the charred body discovered last month in a burned-out vehicle at Cap Estate was Oliver Gobat, despite that a memorial in his name was addressed by the nation’s prime minister two weeks ago. Meanwhile, British and Australian media have not been as secretive. Not only have various newspapers identified the charred remains, but they continue to speculate about motives for what they’ve described as a well-orchestrated hit.
On Thursday evening, at the opening of a regional symposium on crime reduction strategies and democratic policing held here, Deputy Police Commissioner Errol Alexander maintained the official silence.
“We are not going to issue any statement on a positive ID in the absence of conclusive scientific evidence,” he told this reporter. “The thing about it is this: for a correct ID, we need a good DNA match. And even though we have witnesses who have identified certain parts of the body at a post-mortem examination, a perfect match would give us good evidential value going through with the investigation.”
We also asked whether the remains had been handed over to the family.
“No, we have not handed over anything to anyone and—as far as I know—the remains should be in safe custody. [The body] is still an exhibit and we don’t know how much of it the forensic lab may ask for in terms of getting other samples.
“Even the pathologist may need to visit some other areas, so we are still waiting for information from the lab to tell us, DNA-wise, [that] we have a 95 or 98 per cent positive ID. But this will take some time.”
As for establishing how long was “some time,” Alexander said he would not be drawn into declaring an exact time frame, saying “it would depend on how fast the lab can give us that information regarding the DNA. But I believe it will done within reasonable time.”
Moreover: “Part of the problem is that the body was not in a very good condition as far as obtaining these samples.” Police had earlier reported that at the fire department’s request they had gone to the scene of a car on fire, where a body burnt beyond recognition had been discovered in the passenger seat.
Police inquiries had also resulted in a statement from associates of Oliver Gobat that he had not been seen since the fire at Cap Estate.
Thirty-eight year old Oliver Gobat operated the Cap Maison Resort and Spa and was also on the management team of The Landings at Pigeon Island. The incident brought to thirteen the number of homicides since January.
April was particularly busy for local police with the discovery of one body near Pigeon Island and another at Marisule beach. There have been no related arrests.
Regarding the body discovered at Marisule, Alexander said: “We have yet to make a positive ID. The matter is still under investigation but in this case I think we are almost there in terms of making a match. We want the public to be patient and to understand that in these matters we want conclusive scientific evidence if we are to have a good case moving forward.
“So the rumours and speculations, while we may take them into account and do our own investigations, at the end of the day rumours cannot stand in court.”