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28 Mar 2007 07:39
Potential witnesses into the murder of cricket coach Bob Woolmer have either left Jamaica or not come forward. Security video shows just a sliver of the crime scene.
And wild rumours seem in greater supply than facts.
Jamaican police face major hurdles in solving one of the most shocking crimes in their nation’s modern history: Pakistan cricket coach Woolmer was found dead in his Kingston hotel room after his team’s upset elimination from the cricket World Cup.
Investigators have announced no arrests or breakthroughs—raising questions of whether the investigation trail has gone cold.
“There’s no clear suspects although everyone is being considered,” Deputy Police Commissioner Mark Shields said on Tuesday.
He urged witnesses to call a hot line set up to gather leads, suggesting that police still do not have a clear picture of what happened.
“Until you get a breakthrough, you have to keep an open mind,” said Shields, a former Scotland Yard detective hired in 2005 to help Jamaica combat rising crime.
The widely admired Woolmer (58) died shortly after he was discovered unconscious in his hotel bathroom by a maid on March 18, the morning after his team lost to Ireland.
The biggest challenge for police is a lack of potential witnesses, many of whom have left the island since the killing.
Pakistani players and team officials were questioned, fingerprinted and swabbed for DNA before being allowed to leave Saturday. After a two-day stopover in London, they flew home to Pakistan on Tuesday.
Shields has said holding them longer without reasonable suspicion would have set off a diplomatic uproar, and that police would travel abroad if necessary to interview and obtain DNA from everyone else who was at the upscale Jamaica Pegasus Hotel when Woolmer was killed, including members of the West Indies and Ireland teams.
“Clearly there will be people that have left the island that we want to talk to—but as witnesses,” Shields said.
Investigators are poring over the hotel’s closed-circuit security video. But those recordings show only the corridors outside the elevators and stairwell entry on each floor—not the doors to Woolmer’s room or others.
Several unsubstantiated rumours have been published only to be debunked later by police. Among them:
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