St. Lucia police: 3 questioned in Briton’s killing
CASTRIES, St. Lucia (AP) — St. Lucia police on Sunday were questioning three men in connection with the killing of a British man aboard his yacht. None has yet been arrested, however, and officials wouldn’t say if the men might be suspects.
The Royal St. Lucia Police Force said 62-year-old Roger Pratt was killed late Friday when three men boarded his yacht, “Magnetic Attraction,” while it was anchored off the southern town of Vieux Fort. Pratt’s wife, Margaret, was wounded during the attack. Police say she has been treated and released from a hospital.
The Warwickshire county couple had been sailing their yacht since June to mark Margaret Pratt’s 60th birthday. According to a blog she has kept, they arrived in the Caribbean last month, making it to St. Lucia to celebrate New Year’s and later her birthday.
On Friday afternoon, she sent a blog post describing their visit ashore to Vieux Fort to eat lunch and see a doctor for a minor injury to her husband’s foot. They returned to their boat, and just before midnight, three armed men boarded the vessel and attacked the couple before fleeing, according to police. Robbery was the apparent motive.
“Within minutes of the robbers fleeing, Margaret went in search of her husband and found him floating in the nearby waters,” according to a police statement.
Investigators have not disclosed how Roger Pratt was killed. An autopsy has been scheduled for Monday.
Police have denied a British newspaper’s reports that a suspect has been fatally shot by officers.
Tourism Minister Lorne Theophilus assured that law enforcement is working “to bring the perpetrator or perpetrators to justice speedily” and said that St. Lucia remains a “relatively safe” place for tourists and locals.
The Caribbean island of about 180,000 people has been struggling to stem a rise in violent crime in recent years that authorities blame on drug trafficking. Police reported 34 killings last year, the lowest number in four years.
Associated Press writer David McFadden contributed to this report from Kingston, Jamaica.