By Caribbean News Now contributor
CASTRIES, St Lucia -- A visiting British yachtsman was murdered and his wife injured during an attack on Friday night on their boat moored off Vieux-Fort in Saint Lucia.
The dead man has been identified as 62-year-old Roger Pratt. Initial media reports indicated that Pratt was shot but this has since been refuted by local police, saying the cause of has not yet been established. A post-mortem examination is due to take place on Monday.
Police also denied in a press statement that any of the three suspects detained in connection with the incident was shot and killed.
Tourism Minister Lorne Theophilus also released a statement on the murder, expressing condolences to the family of the victims while assuring that, “as a destination Saint Lucia remains relatively safe for nationals and visitors alike” and that local law enforcement is working to perpetrators to justice “speedily”.
“This is an active investigation and law enforcement is leading the charge in an attempt to bring the perpetrator or perpetrators to justice speedily. Law enforcement officials have brief myself and other senior tourism officials on aspects of the case although I am not at liberty to share some of those details with you at this time,” Theophilus said.
He reiterated that this is an active investigation with details still unfolding and urged caution in how information is shared and communicated, particularly via social media.
The British couple was reportedly on a round-the-world trip and had been celebrating Mrs Pratt's 60th birthday when the attack took place.
The Pratts’ departure from Saint Lucia had reportedly been delayed for several days as a result of being denied clearance to leave by local immigration officials.
Questions are now being asked as to the reasons for the delay in processing the Pratts’ departure clearance.