Victim is prominent businessman
A prominent local businessman was killed either late Friday or early Saturday in what local police believed was the first homicide ever to occur in Little Cayman.
Perry Steven McLaughlin, 54, was believed to have been stabbed sometime Friday night or early Saturday morning. His body was discovered early Saturday, according to Deputy Premier and Cayman Brac and Little Cayman MLA Moses Kirkconnell.
“Perry was a life-long friend, he’s [Premier] Alden [McLaughlin’s] second cousin,” Mr. Kirkconnell said. “This was just an absolute shock [Saturday] morning.”
The Royal Cayman Islands Police Service detained a woman Saturday in connection with the incident on suspicion of murder. She was identified as “the partner” of Mr. McLaughlin. Although they did not confirm Mr. McLaughlin had been stabbed, police indicated he had been “fatally wounded.”
According to RCIPS Chief Inspector Brad Ebanks, police in Little Cayman responded to a call from one of Mr. McLaughlin’s employees around 7 a.m. Saturday, who said he was unable to contact Mr. McLaughlin.
Officers responded to the home and found Mr. McLaughlin dead a short while later.
Police from Cayman Brac and Grand Cayman were brought in to help investigate the crime scene. Little Cayman’s police force consists of two officers and does not have the resources to investigate a homicide.
“The death is believed to be domestic in nature,” Chief Inspector Ebanks said.
Asked whether the RCIPS had ever reported a homicide case in Little Cayman prior to Saturday, Mr. Ebanks stated that it appeared to be the first killing in the island’s history.
Mr. McLaughlin’s death is the fifth homicide to occur in the Cayman Islands this year. The other four killings all occurred in Grand Cayman in September or October.
News of Mr. McLaughlin’s death stunned residents of all three Cayman Islands on Saturday.
Jonathan Tibbetts of Cayman Brac Power and Light said he knew Mr. McLaughlin when he lived in Cayman Brac and also through business associations in Little Cayman over the last decade. “Everybody knew him. People are telling me they were having conversations with him just yesterday, I think everybody’s reeling from it.”
Fellow Little Cayman businessman Marc Pothier described Mr. McLaughlin as “a hard worker” and said he would be missed on the small island.
“It’s a tragic event for sure,” Mr. Pothier said.
Mr. McLaughlin has run various businesses in Little Cayman during the past two decades.
He started McLaughlin Rentals in 1990 – the first car rental business in Little Cayman – with just a few dozen people residing on the island, which is about one-mile wide.
Little Cayman’s permanent population today is estimated at somewhere between 125-150 people, although more than 200 people, including long-term visitors, reside there during the tourism “high season.”
Mr. McLaughlin also owned the Iguana Crossing Liquor Store, McLaughlin Property Management, McLaughlin Properties Limited and Little Cayman Wholesale.