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Another Tobago taxi-driver murdered

Tobago Bureau Monday, July 21 2014

THE murders in Tobago continued over the weekend with the death of 60-year-old taxi driver Curtis James of James Estate, Concordia. He is the second taxi driver to be murdered within a week in the sister-isle.

Reports indicate that James’ body was discovered in a bedroom at his home by his nine-year-old granddaughter at about 5 pm on Saturday. His body bore no marks of violence. An autopsy conducted yesterday at the Scarborough General Hospital by Forensic Pathologist Dr Valerie Alexandrov revealed James’ death was due to smothering consistent with asphyxiation.

It is believed that robbery was the motive behind the murder as the house was ransacked and cash and other valuables were discovered missing. James’ Toyota Noah vehicle was also discovered abandoned and burnt in the Orange Hill area by a passerby on Saturday afternoon.

James, an avid keyboardist, was last seen alive by relatives on Friday and reportedly practiced with his music band on Friday for a gig on Saturday night. He was also a keyboard player with the Tobago House of Assembly’s Division of Health and Social Services’ Golden Apple Band.

This latest death takes the island’s murder toll to five for the year and comes a week after the shooting death of businessman Nigel “Redman” Fraser in Scarborough two Saturdays ago. Additionally, James is the second taxi driver to be killed for the month. Investigators yesterday told Newsday they are following very “strong, solid leads” in the murders.

Newsday was also told that one of the suspects held in Fraser’s murder was released following a writ filed in the High Court for his release but that this development does not undermine the investigation. Scarborough Homicide officers are continuing investigations.

Meanwhile, Arima police were yesterday investigating the murder of a 47-year-old driver who worked at the Cadet Force of the Ministry of National Security. The man was killed after gunmen stormed his home early yesterday morning.

According to police reports, Sherwin Yorke of Kingdom Avenue, Arima, was asleep at his home when at about 1.30 am, gunmen broke into his bedroom and shot him multiple times. They then escaped. Yorke died at the scene. An autopsy is expected to be performed today at the Forensic Science Centre, St James.

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