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(JAMAICA OBSERVER) — Two men held in connection with the murder of 51-year-old Germaine Junior have been released, the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) has said.
An e-mail correspondence from the police, a copy of which was seen by the Jamaica Observer, said Junior’s killing has been linked to the Umbrella Gang, which operates mainly in Newlands, Portmore.
“In the matter of Germaine Junior, investigations to date have unearthed several leads which when explored have proven futile. Statements have been recorded from Mr Patrick Bailey at whose home the incident took place as well as a relative of Mr Junior.
“It is theorised that members of the Umbrella Gang which operates in the Portmore area may have committed the murder. Two persons linked to that gang were taken into custody and subsequently released because there was no physical evidence or eyewitness linking them to the scene. Their fingerprints were taken but did not match those from the scene,” the JCF e-mail said.
It added that several case reviews have been conducted under the leadership of deputy commissioner in charge of crime and security, Selvin Hay.
“Mr Patrick Bailey was interviewed [again] in May last year, based on information gleaned by investigators. The outcome of that session has not significantly impacted the investigation,” the e-mail read.
The Observer had requested the said information in correspondence in November 2017, through the Ministry of National Security’s Access to Information unit, but was told that, if given, the case would be compromised.
Since that time, investigators have withheld information relating to the case, stating only that “investigation is ongoing”.
Junior’s body was found in a couch at Bailey’s Barbican home on September 30, 2016 with more than a dozen stab wounds and a single gunshot wound to the right side of his head.
Bailey told investigators at that time that he stumbled upon the body shortly after 4:00 am in his living room. The police said that there were no signs of forced entry.
Bailey, who, according to initial reports, slept through the murder, was immediately ruled out as a suspect by the police.
Following the incident, his doctor Jepthah Ford instructed that he be confined to bed after he reportedly exhibited signs of being unwell. Ford also said that Bailey was not fit to give a statement at the time. That statement came two weeks later.
Ford was reportedly called to the scene by an assistant commissioner of police who he said told him that Bailey was unwell.
A relative of the dead man told the Observer in 2017 that Bailey and Junior became close after the attorney represented Junior in a court matter more than 20 years ago.
The relative explained that Junior was shot multiple times by the police in Hope Pastures, St Andrew, after they received a report that a robbery had occurred in the area. The police believed he had matched the description given in the report. The relative said a lawsuit was filed, which Junior won.
The relative said that the two developed a friendship and noted that Junior, who had become a United States citizen through marriage some years later, would occasionally visit Jamaica then return to the US. He was visiting when he was murdered.