PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten, Monday, September 24, 2012 – Police in St. Maarten disclosed yesterday (September 23) that they had arrested a male suspect in the slayings of a South Carolina couple whose bodies were found in their beachfront condominium.
Police spokesman Ricardo Henson said the suspect was arrested before dawn on Sunday and has not been charged yet and police would issue a statement “as soon as more information can be divulged.”
Friends and family of Michael and Thelma King hope this suspect is the key to solving the mystery behind the brutal double murder that was discovered on Friday in the Dutch Caribbean territory.
The crime was discovered when police were called to the couple’s condominium in Ocean Club Resort in Cupecoy on Friday morning where they found the lifeless bodies of the husband and wife with what appeared to be lethal stab wounds about their bodies.
In a press release issued by Chief Prosecutor Hans Mos, it was revealed that Thelma was found tied onto a chair, while Michael was lying on the floor and partially over another chair. Mos added that the doctor who was at the crime scene found no indication whatsoever of a possible sexual motive, despite earlier speculations to that effect.
At that time Mos also revealed that a police investigation team of 25 officers were on the case.
Associated Press (AP) investigations into the life of the couple on the island revealed that they were well-off with several ongoing business interests.
Michael King was reportedly a retired insurance executive who later started a successful printing business in the United States that he sold recently.
He was a partner in St. Maarten rental property, owned several restaurants, and was said to be about to start a spice rum factory on the island.
Local restaurant owner and friend Topper Daboul, who was reportedly partnering with King on the rum factory venture and was the one who prompted the discovery of the bodies, told the AP: “These two people probably had to hang their wings up at night. That’s how beautiful they were. Their life was pretty successful … They had oodles of dollars. They had everything they ever wanted in life.”