St. Lucia is a small, picturesque Caribbean island, and residents were shocked to learn that a couple had been attacked while their yacht was moored on Friday night. Now, five men have been arrested during the investigation after the owner of the yacht was murdered and his wife injured.
62-year old Roger Pratt and his wife Margaret, 60, were attacked by three men who climbed aboard the boat with the apparent intent to rob the couple. Pratt was badly beaten and thrown into the water, although officials say he may have been unconscious when he went under. The autopsy lists the official cause of death as "asphyxia secondary to blunt force trauma". Margaret Pratt suffered black eyes and injuries to her face that required stitches, and has been cooperating with police in order to give them evidence from the crime scene.
Authorities say three men were arrested on Saturday near the scene, and two more were arrested on Tuesday, although it's not yet known whether they have confessed to the crime.
"This appears to have been intended as a robbery and went out of control," Commissioner Vernon Francois said.
The couple had been on a long-awaited trip since July, when they sailed to Portugal and through the Caribbean. Margaret Pratt says that until the attack, the dream trip was just that.
"We've not felt unsafe in St Lucia until the events of those final tragic minutes and have had considerable kindness from very many people and that kindness is continuing during the period of the homicide investigation."
According to locals, the accused may be the same group of men who have terrorized the community before.
"They carry guns on their waist or in their hands in broad daylight to intimidate people, they are very feared," said one local resident.
Image via Wikimedia Commons