Family Promised Action in Cockayne Stabbing Murder, No Word from VIPD

James Cockayne

While V.I. Police Department officials have not released any additional information regarding the June 19 murder of James “Jamie” Cockayne in Cruz Bay, the victim’s family has been promised an imminent arrest.

“The police have assured us that they are investigating this matter and will have an arrest in the near future,” Cockayne’s mother, Jean Gilligan Cockayne wrote in a letter to St. John Tradewinds (see page 19).

The letter also details the brutality of the murder of the 21-year-old. A VIPD press release, issued the day after the homicide, stated the victim “sustained multiple stab wounds to the body.”

The letter from Cockayne’s mother paints a more detailed picture of the injuries inflicted upon her son that night.

Stabbed in Neck, Ribs, Abdomen, Chest and Thigh
“We know that Jamie was stabbed in the thigh (femoral artery), in the back right rib cage, the front of his neck, in his abdomen and twice in the upper chest,” according to the letter.

Citing fears of disrupting the VIPD’s investigation into her son’s homicide, however, Jean Cockayne declined to comment further on the matter.

The family continues its plea for community members who witnessed anything that night to come forward and is also seeking information regarding an altercation Cockayne had in a Cruz Bay bar 12 days before he was murdered.

Cockayne got into an argument which might have escalated to violence with an individual on Thursday, June 7, according to Jean Cockayne.

The incident occurred just before Cockayne and his mother traveled off-island for a wedding.

Waiting For Word from BVI
The two Pennsylvania residents returned to Love City a week later and were waiting for paperwork to arrive allowing Cockayne, a recently-certified sailing instructor, to work at the Bitter End Yacht Club in Virgin Gorda.

On the night of June 18, Cockayne was seen in several Cruz Bay area bars. He was reportedly spotted having an argument with several individuals in the Texaco area just minutes before the stabbing was reported at 12:28 a.m., Tuesday, June 19.

The paperwork for his job from the Bitter End Yacht Club finally arrived later that same day, according to Jean Cockayne’s letter.
VIPD Deputy Chief Darren Foy declined to comment on the ongoing investigation, saying only that officers were working diligently.