CASTRIES, St. Lucia, Tuesday April 29, 2014, CMC – The Royal St. Lucia Police Force Tuesday distanced itself from international media reports that sought to identify a prominent hotelier whose charred body was reportedly found in a burnt vehicle at Cap estate, north of the capitol on Monday.
“The Royal Saint Lucia Police Force (RSLPF) is yet to confirm the identity of this individual. The organization wishes to distance itself from reports published in the foreign press regarding the identity of this individual who is quoted to be the remains of Oliver Gobat of Cap Estate,” said Police Commissioner Vernon Francois.
Local media reports said that the hotelier had not returned home last Friday after a round of golf and that the burnt Range Rover vehicle was identical to the one he owned.
Tourism Minister Lorne Theophilius Monday said “there is an active police investigation being conducted into the matter and in the absence of definitive identification of the body and an official statement from law enforcement… we are unable to name the individual at this time, or say precisely how he met his death”.
Francois said that the police were not yet in a position to definitively make any pronouncement and was awaiting the results of the post mortem examination.
“In the absence of scientific evidence, we cannot conclusively make an identification,” he said, adding that law enforcement authorities here dealt primarily with facts.
“The media and members of the public are asked to be mindful, that the police cannot operate under the basis of speculation in the course of its investigations,” he added.
Theophilius said currently the police investigation points to a certain individual and “should it be determined that he was the victim, we wish to extend our heartfelt condolences to his family, friends and colleagues.
“We wish to assure family and friends of the deceased and the nation as a whole, that no effort will be spared to investigate this incident as with any incident involving the loss of life. The matter will be thoroughly investigated and all necessary action will ensue,” he said in the statement.