(JAMAICA OBSERVER) – The Portland police have arrested two suspects as part of investigations into the defrauding of British couple Florence and Halford Anderson, who were on Friday found dead in Mount Pleasant, Portland.
A separate investigation has been launched into the double murder.
The Britons, who returned to the island just over a year ago for retirement, were brutally killed, their bodies burnt and their house, which was under construction, fire-bombed.
Residents discovered Halford’s body near Mount Pleasant Primary School under a tree and Florence’s in their fire-bombed home.
During a press briefing yesterday, head of the Portland police, Superintendent Duane Wellington said that one of the couple’s overseas credit cards was cloned and used to purchase a number of items.
“This is a case where fraud has been committed. Two males, who are persons of interest, are now in police custody and will be questioned as we continue to carry out investigations. We are also appealing to persons locally and overseas, if they have any information, to disclose same to the police as we seek to bring an early closure to this murder [investigation],” Superintendent Wellington said.
He told journalists that the police are awaiting the post-mortem to determine the cause of death.
“We are also awaiting report from the fire service as one room was completely destroyed and another partially,” assistant superintendent of police in charge of operations Throyville Haughton, who was also at the press briefing, stated.
The couple had called in the police to investigate money (£45,000) they said had been fraudulently taken from a bank card. The police confirmed they were involved in that investigation, but maintained that a motive for the couple’s murder has not yet been established.
Florence and Halford, aged 71 and 74 respectively, had recently retired to the island from Manchester, in England, their family said.
In a statement issued through the British Foreign Office, the couple’s sons said that they were pillars of the community of Manchester and Jamaica, and were hugely popular and loved by many.
“They were just beginning the next chapter of their lives, retiring to Jamaica before this terrible tragedy. We are completely devastated and ask for privacy at this extremely difficult time,” the couple’s sons said in the statement.
The statement also said that their parents “enjoyed a long and happy marriage” of 55 years and left behind four grandchildren and one great-grandchild.