An unidentified man was facing a fifth day of questioning at George Town Police Station at press time Thursday over his suspected involvement in the death of women’s rights activist and Cable and Wireless Corporate Communications Manager Estella Scott-Roberts.
The man was taken into custody Saturday night and remains under arrest, although police have not publicly said what he is under arrest for.
Police on Thursday again refused to release details about the man and pleaded for the public’s patience, saying they must protect their investigation.
‘We consider all information that we release into the public domain very carefully and it would be reckless of us to comment about this any further at this time,’ a police spokesperson said.
The RCIPS also categorically rejected rumors circulating the community Thursday that Mrs. Scott-Roberts’ husband, Rayle, had been arrested overnight as part of the murder investigation.
‘People that peddle unjustified rumors without any foundation whatsoever cause untold anguish to those closest to Estella and have a negative effect on the progress of the enquiry,’ said Detective Chief Inspector Peter Kennett
‘Rayle has not been arrested, is not a suspect and has never been a suspect,’ Mr. Kennett said.
Referring to assistance from the public, Mr. Kennett acknowledged that cooperation has generally been good.
Since the tragic events of 10 October, 20 officers supported by various specialist staff have been diligently working on the case, Mr. Kennett noted.
Two experts have been drafted in; a Forensic Pathologist and an arson and explosives expert, both of whom have given invaluable advice and assistance to the investigation team. A number of exhibits have been sent to laboratories overseas for forensic analysis and many statements have been taken, with this number growing daily, he said.
A number of anonymous tips have also been received by Crime Stoppers in Miami that have been passed on to the Major Incident Room for follow up, he reported.
‘We appreciate the assistance offered by the public so far and ask that this continues. We must stand up against violence together, as a community,’ Mr. Kennett said.
‘Some people are quick to engage in conversation about theories, possible motives, suspects and the investigation in general. If anyone has information that they think can help, they should contact the murder investigation team. Even if the information you have seems insignificant to you, it could be crucial to us.’
Estella Scott-Roberts was last seen alive in the car park in-between Deckers and Buckingham Square at around 11.15pm on Friday, 11 October. Her burnt out vehicle was found in the Dykes in West Bay the following day. An examination of remains found in the vehicle by a forensic pathologist has left little doubt that the body is that of Estella Scott-Roberts.
The 33-year-old Cayman Brac native’s death has sent shockwaves through the Cayman Islands and prompted an outpouring of grief.
Thousands of people attended events this past weekend on both Grand Cayman and Cayman Brac paying tribute Mrs. Scott Roberts and to voice their opposition to domestic violence.
Mrs. Scott-Roberts was a tireless campaigner against domestic violence, having helped found the Cayman Islands Crisis Centre, a refuge for abused women and their children. Her previous position as director of the Crisis Centre sometimes required her to testify in court on behalf of domestic violence victims.
Earlier this week, the case took on a regional dimension, with the United Nations Development Fund for Women releasing a statement about the regional effect of Estella’s death and its impact on the issue of violence against women in the Caribbean region.
‘Estella, during her impressively courageous and public spirited life, supported many women victims of violence, providing protection, support and advocacy to ensure a better net of prevention and protection against violence,’ said Roberta Clarke, UNIFEM’s program director for the Caribbean.
‘She supported the establishment of the Cayman Islands Crisis Centre and was Officer responsible for Women’s Affairs during which time she worked on the National Gender Policy.’
Ms Clarke said Estella’s killing tragically highlights once again the extreme vulnerability to gender-based violence that defines the lives of women in the Caribbean. She said a 2007 World Bank and United Nations report on crime and violence showed that the Caribbean continues to be among the most violent places in the world for women, with high levels of reports of both sexual violence and domestic violence.
‘Although all Caribbean countries have signed and ratified the Convention on the Eradication, Prevention and Punishment of Violence against Women, there is so much more that has to be done to signal unequivocally, state and community accountability for ending violence against women,’ the statement continued.
‘While policing must be strengthened, legal remedies made more accessible and affordable, shelters and social services provided for women and their children seeking safe haven, the real change has to be the transformation of the culture of gender inequality.
‘Ending violence against women requires that each one of us speak out against relations of power, domination and control that characterise so much of the dynamics of interpersonal relations between women and men in the Caribbean.
‘We must embrace our collective role of advocates for respect, justice and women’s autonomy. In this, men have a special responsibility to carry this message. Violence against women is not only a woman’s issue; it is a men’s issue, and tackling this requires redefining masculinity away from the traditional and harmful practices of aggression and control.’
Anyone with information about the death of Mrs. Scott-Roberts is asked to contact police immediately on 949-4222 or Crime Stoppers on 800-8477 (TIPS).
Callers to Crime Stoppers can remain anonymous and could be eligible for a reward of up to US$125,000. Any information could be crucial to this investigation.
To contact the investigation team directly, people can call: DI Kim Evans: 926-1773; DC Wade Chase: 925-7240; DC Charmane Dalhouse: – 926-3975; or DC Karl Lovell: 925-6761.