St. Kitts and Nevis (WINN); While police said it was confirmed that a body found in a shallow grave in the hills of Olivees overnight Wednesday is that of missing teen Leanna Napoleon, more than 48 hours later they have not provided any other information relating to the discovery, leading to rampant speculation in the public domain.
The 17-year-old 5th form student was last seen on Monday May 8. She wrote one of her CSEC exams that morning and reportedly went into town after.
Police made numerous appeals to the public seeking assistance by way of information relating to the girl’s disappearance.
A reward of $25,000 was even offered.
Since the discovery of the body, there appears to have been a virtual shut-down of information on the case, save to say that one person had been taken into custody Thursday.
Voice-notes have since been circulating claiming the body had been wrapped in sheets and plastic and was still clad in the Basseterre High School uniform Leanna was said to be wearing when she vanished.
It was also claimed that a close relative of the teen was the person taken into custody for questioning following the find.
The remote area where the body was discovered, the timing of the discovery and that there was almost instant confirmation of the identity of the body have led to several questions being raised in the public sphere.
Among them are:
How did police come by the information relating to the location of the body? Unconfirmed reports indicate they received an anonymous call from an unknown male that night indicating Leanna had been killed, and giving directions as to where they could find her body. Did anyone claim the 25,000 reward?
How did she die? Were there signs of physical abuse? What was the condition of the body? The teen had been missing for six weeks before the body was found.
Did family members provide an identification, or was some form of initial forensic testing done?
Will an autopsy or similar examination be carried out? When? Will that information be made public?
WINN FM reached out to Commissioner of Police Ian Queeley on Friday. He was asked if the police high command intend to hold a press briefing on the Leanna case now that they have found her remains.
Commissioner Queeley said, “If a press conference is scheduled, you will be informed.”
WINN FM asked if the Commissioner if he felt the police should provide the public with additional information about this case, which garnered local and regional attention over the past few weeks.
His response, “The matter is subject to active investigation. Only relevant information that can be released will be released.”
He did clear up rumors that multiple persons had been taken into police custody in relation to the case, confirming that the individual arrested Thursday is the only person in police custody. The person has not been charged with any crime.
We will provide an update on this story as more information becomes available.