St Maarten murder suspect held on pretrial detention says Solicitor

Photo courtesy: The Associated Press

By Ava

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- St Maarten detectives now have a person of interest in the stabbing deaths of 53-year-old Michael and 57-year-old Thelma King of Mt Pleasant.

St Maarten's Solicitor General Taco Stein would not say if the Kings' knew the suspect.

"I cannot tell you that at the moment because we are tracing all kinds of things to see if there was a prior relation," said Stein.

Investigators say the Kings' bodies were discovered Friday in the condo they owned on the island. Thelma King's body was discovered tied to a chair. Her husband's body was found on the floor. Stein says it does not appear to be a robbery.

"As far as we know nothing was taken but of course that was something we have to establish. It didn't look like things were taken but again that's speculation at this point in time,"said Stein.

Stein did confirm the couple was making more frequent trips to the island. He says the Kings did have some business deals in the making, but he's not sure of the nature of those businesses. Stein would not say if more arrests will be made.

"That's hard to say at this moment. It's not being excluded but it is very early in the investigation. A lot of leads must be followed before we can say anything more on that matter," said Stein.

Stein says according to their country's judicial system, the person of interest is being held on what's called a pretrial detention.{}

"We have a three-day period in which we can gather evidence and then he has to be brought in front of the magistrate. He has to weigh if the arrest was properly done and if there are sufficient grounds to keep him," said Stein.

On Monday autopsies will be performed on the island. Then depending on the results, the bodies will be released to the family. According to St Maarten law only the initials of the person of interest will be released eventually. They do not give out the full name because of privacy rights.

Officials said Monday the couple was stabbed.