October 27, 2020

THE HUNT GOES ON: Case for missing women still very much “active”

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Missing Kerran Baker

Police have interviewed — and re-interviewed – dozens of people in their hunt for gangland killers and armed robbers, while keeping an ”active investigation” of missing women Kerran Baker and Anna Evans open.

“No one has been arrested, however in connection with the missing women”, RCIPS Detective Superintendent Marlon Bodden said, no bodies had been found and the 30 July movements of the 25-year-old Ms Baker had not been established.

Police have also revealed there have been no new arrests on the murders. One man has been charged in connection with the death of Asher McGaw.

Marking one month since a nine-day spate of gang-related murders and a series of robberies, RCIPS Chief Superintendent Marlon Bodden told iNews police teams had interviewed a score of people as part of their investigations, and were “still analysing statements”, but “were encouraged” by progress on the cases.

The 20 visiting officers from northwest England, invited by Police Commissioner David Baines and Governor Duncan Tayior to aid RCIPS investigators, “were spread across the five murders and other major crimes,” Mr Bodden said, “and had meshed nicely with their local counterparts.

”We are still interviewing a lot of individuals, but we are not in a position to say when we might make an arrest.

“I can’t say whether an arrest will be today or tomorrow, but the officers and the interviews have synchronised very well,” Mr Bodden added. “We are comfortable at this stage that we are heading in the right direction.”

Kemar Golding

He declined to say if arrests might be imminent, and skirted the issue of how many people police had questioned, but hinted that some action may soon be evident.

“Many people have been in and out, and we have revisited with some of them,” he said. “We are still at the information-gathering stage, and evaluating what people have said to us.

“I am encouraged, though, as investigators, we believe in fast results, but have to be patient in understanding what the evidence is telling us. We need to be diligent and fair. The burden of proof is on us,” he said, reminding the public that gaining convictions requires police to meet courtroom standards of evidence.

Asked about West Bay’s Birch Tree Hill-Logwoodz Dons [sic] gang conflict, the origin of the five 13-22 September murders, Mr Bodden hinted that the probe had moved beyond the groups’ approximately two-dozen members.

“They are not the only group we are focusing on,” he said. ‘It’s a wider investigation and we are looking at all the elements of criminal activity.”

Already, police have arrested Chakane Jameile Scott – charging him with murder, possession of both an illegal firearm and ammunition — for the 22 September East End killing of Asher McGaw.

Another man, still unidentified, this month was detained and released on bail in the 29 July Red Bay shooting of Cayman Islands Brewery assistant Kemar Golding.

“I have just requested an update on Kemar,” Mr Bodden enlarged “My last information was that he was progressing well, and we continue to investigate and keep an eye on the guy [we detained].”

Detective Superintendent Marlon Bodden (right) with Chief Superintendent John Jones

While acknowledging the link between the white Toyota Liteace van — in which Jason Christian was shot through the head on 20 September in George Town’s Cranbrook Drive – and the Tortuga Rum robbery in Pasadora Place just days earlier, Mr Bodden was nonetheless reluctant to connect the October decline in shootings to the recent rise in robberies – led by a heist at Caribbean Utilities Company in North Sound Road, followed in short order by a cash-in-transit robbery near Eastern Avenue’s Banana’s Bar and this week’s armed theft  at the China Village restaurant in Plaza Venezia.

“I don’t have any evidence to link those,” Mr Bodden said, although Police Commissioner David Baines had earlier correlated September’s gangland violence with the decline in armed thefts during the same period.

Mr Bodden concluded by saying the probe into the 30 July disappearance from her Bodden Town home of Kerran Baker, and into Anna Evans, who vanished six months earlier, was ”one of the matters we are still investigating. Both Kerran and Anna are active cases. We have spoken to all the critical friends involved.”

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