Police recount Estella’s last hours

Investigators have made some headway in tracking Cable and Wireless Communications Manager Estella Scott-Roberts’ movements in the hours before her burned out vehicle was found in West Bay with a body inside.

ribbons for estella

Students at Montessori By the Sea, from left, Anja Van Genederen, Eden Bowyel and Kali Pereira, make ribbons to commemorate the life of Estella Scott-Roberts. The project was initiated by Patrice Donalds, a close friend of Mrs. Scott-Roberts, and several volunteers, including the students teacher, Miss Jacqui Ebanks, are making and distributing the ribbons across the island in return for donations.
Photo: Jewel Levy

At press time, police had not officially identified those badly damaged remains as the 33-year-old Cayman Brac native. However, it was generally presumed Mrs. Scott-Roberts was the person found inside the vehicle.

‘There is now little doubt that the body found in the car is that of Estella Scott-Roberts,’ a police press release stated.

Police have said Mrs. Scott-Roberts left Deckers restaurant on Friday night around 11.30pm. According to statements from those who were with her, she did not exit the restaurant alone.

Investigators believe two friends who were attending Mrs. Scott-Roberts’ birthday party left before she did, and another four attendees, including Mrs. Scott-Roberts then left the restaurant together. Police said the group talked for a few minutes in the Deckers parking lot and then went separately to their cars.

Mrs. Scott-Roberts’ 2007 Ford Edge was actually parked in a side alley between the Deckers lot and the north side of the Buckingham Square complex, which is set back from West Bay Road. Police could not state for certain what happened to her after she walked over to her SUV.

‘We’d…like to hear from anyone else who was in the area, perhaps playing mini-golf or visiting Bamboo or the Hyatt, who may have seen something important,’ Royal Cayman Islands Police Chief Inspector Peter Kennett said.

The next time the vehicle was seen, it was a charred hunk of metal stopped along a dike road near The Shores in West Bay.

Investigators now believe Mrs. Scott-Roberts’ Ford Edge was set ablaze shortly before midnight Friday, less than an hour after she was seen leaving Deckers. Witnesses in the area of The Shores said they heard what sounded like gunshots, followed by a honking horn.

‘This was likely to be various parts of the car, such as tyres, headlights and airbags exploding, after which the steering column would have melted setting off the car horn,’ the RCIPS release stated.

Police and volunteer searchers descended on the remote park location after Cable and Wireless traced Mrs. Scott-Roberts’ cell phone to the West Bay area. A Department of Environment officer assisting in the search was the first person to locate the vehicle.

Friends of Mrs. Scott-Roberts, performing a wider search of the area, found several items at a site about a mile away from where the burned out SUV was located. Those included some confetti, which witnesses said was similar to the confetti used at the birthday party.

Chief Inspector Kennett could not immediately state the significance of such a finding. That remote area of West Bay is known to be a late night hang-out, and trash and other items are often found there.

‘It is too early to jump to conclusions about these items,’ Mr. Kennett said.

Police did not state whether Mrs. Scott-Roberts’ cell phone was ever actually located.

No arrests had been reported at press time in connection with the case, which police were considering a murder investigation.

‘People are asking if they should be worried, if they are safe,’ Mr. Kennett said. ‘What I can say is that everybody should always be aware of their surroundings whether they are here or abroad. We are a small community and we need to keep an eye out for each other.’