The person who is now of interest to the police in the June murder of LGBT member Josiah “Jonty” Robinson is 29-year old Javed Raymond, who lives in Circular Drive in the Frequente area in the South St George Constituency.
Raymond was taken into custody early Friday morning by members of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF) and was processed Friday for charges to be laid against him in connection with the murder.
An informed source told THE NEW TODAY that the murder accused was not among those persons who were picked up earlier in the investigation since he was not under the police radar for the crime except in recent days.
“He is relatively new to us,” said a high-level member of the Police Force.
According to a resident in the area, a police party was seen doing surveillance work very early Friday morning before entering a house and moving away with the suspect in a vehicle.
At approximately 4.45 p.m Friday, members of the CID, Rapid Response Unit (RRU) and the Special Services Unit (SSU) were captured on photograph accompanied by the suspect on BBC beach where Jonty’s body was discovered.
A police insider said this is usually done by CID Detectives in order to help clear up anything of doubt told to them during the interrogation by the suspect as part of the investigation.
Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Vannie Curwen was flanked by the newly installed head of CID, Superintendent of Police Esau Pierre at a hurriedly called press conference just after 3.00 p.m Friday afternoon to announce that there had been a significant breakthrough in the 3-month old murder case.
“Someone is currently in police custody who we hope to charge later today for the death of Josiah “Jonty” Robinson,” ACP Curwen told reporters.
Minutes before the press conference, top CID detective Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Ryan Hall was in a room in CID headquarters on Green Street interviewing Raymond to obtain a statement from him as part of the routine police work in charging a suspect.
As part of his confession statement, the suspect told police investigators that he and “Jonty” were on the beach together and the incident happened there.
During the press conference, the Police High Command member recalled that at a few days earlier the RGPF did mention to reporters at a briefing that the police were cautiously optimistic about solving the “Jonty” matter.
Although the name of the suspect was not given at Friday’s press briefing due to the still ongoing nature of the investigation, ACP Curwen disclosed that the suspect is a 29-year-old male who resides in the south of the island and who was “an acquaintance” of the deceased.
“Jonty” is believed to have had several male lovers.
A police investigator told THE NEW TODAY that a close relative of the deceased had provided CID Detectives with the name of one of the lovers who complained to her that “Jonty” who had been living with him at the time was not faithful in the relationship.
Police questioned the individual a few times as the main suspect but came up with nothing to link him to the murder.
The senior member of RGPF stressed that the men and women of the RGPF are committed to the task of solving all of the murder cases currently being investigated and that the suggestion for outside help is not necessary at the moment.
“We have the expertise, we have the experience and we have dedicated men and women at the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) that can deliver on these matters and again they have delivered,” he said.
This is an apparent rebuff of former Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell who had called on his successor in office, Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell to request outside assistance from Scotland Yard to help solve the recent spate of unsolved murders on the island.
Critics accused the former Grenadian leader of engaging in “political grandstanding” since he never called in Scotland Yard when the murder rate was 18 during a particular year in his term in office.
The current murder rate on the island stands at 18 for 2023.
ACP Curwen noted that in a previous press conference, he did indicate that a lot of resources were directed to the “Jonty” case by the Police Force as the lawmen were optimistic that the effort will bear fruits.
“We were putting resources into that case perhaps more than we have done (for) others not because we have a particular interest in that case but we understand the public outcry both locally, regionally, and internationally,” he said.
ACP Curwen was specifically asked if the advent of Supt Pierre within the past two weeks as head of CID had made the difference in solving the murder.
He said that even though the case was quite far ahead before Pierre’s return to take charge of the Department from ASP Hall, his presence in the unit was significant in that it provided the room for the former head and the other investigators to focus more predominantly on the murder cases.
On the issue of the US$100,000 offered by U.S-based Celebrities Tyler Perry and Yvette Noel-Schure to the person who provided information to RGPF to help crack the case, ACP Curwen said that he is not aware of anyone coming forward to claim the reward money.