50 years: Police step up probe in LC skeleton case

In the June 21, 1967 edition of the Caymanian Weekly, a precursor of the Cayman Compass, reporter R.M. Walters wrote the following:

“The Cayman Islands Police, under command of Chief of Police Mr. R.S. Besant, are stepping up investigations into the mystery of the human skeleton in Little Cayman.

“The skeleton was found by workmen digging to make a foundation for a cesspool for the home of American film star Burgess Meredith.

“Since the discovery, a great deal of speculation as to the identity of the individual has been in the air. Rumours coming from Cayman Brac imply that the skeleton is that of a 17-year-old youth who has been missing for the last 20 years and that at the time of his disappearance, foul play was suspected.

“The rumours further suggest that the lad had gone to Little Cayman with others on a fishing trip and that he was involved in a quarrel over the ownership of a catboat found on the beach. He was reported last seen drifting away in his catboat. Despite a very extensive search, the catboat was never found.

“A shirt with blood stains was found on Little Cayman after the youngster disappeared but no alarm was given because an extensive search at sea had been made.

“Since the publicity of the unearthing of the skeleton in the Caymanian, people, especially in Cayman Brac, have revived interest in the case. The police have, therefore, been getting helpful tips.

“Chief Besant is now taking over the probing of the mystery. He will visit the grave on Thursday and will send additional sample exhibits to the government pathologist in Jamaica for expert opinion on the time and cause of death.

“Chief Besant has already taken 22 statements and more witnesses remain to be interviewed and their testimony recorded.

“The police hope to set a local crime-solving record by untangling the mystery of the skeleton.

“If it is ascertained that it is that of the missing youth and if foul play can be established, then the culprit or culprits will be brought to justice after a lapse of 20 years!”

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