I am a long time repeat visitor to your island since 1990, when my husband and I first visited and stayed at Caneel Bay on our honeymoon. Since that week-long stay, we have been back many times with both family and friends, as villa renters. We have always loved the natural beauty and laid back ways of St. John and to feel connected, I have been an avid reader of your newspaper.
Needless to say, I have been following the details of the Cockayne murder, as have probably thousands of people worldwide who feel the same connection to the island. To say that I am shocked and appalled at the local government’s handling of this tragedy is a huge understatement. I can’t even begin to fathom the depth of the Cockayne family’s grief made insufferable by the botched investigation, thus far. And now I just learned that the person charged with first degree murder, Anselmo Boston, was released by Judge Brenda Hollar because the prosecutor was a mere 30 minutes late? Come on!
Well, enough is enough! This is the proverbial straw that has broken the camel’s back. I’ve been leery to return to St. John because of all the burglaries, illegal entries to the island by who knows what kind of people, random muggings, and a general feeling that St. John is no longer a safe place for my family. The Cockayne murder and the pathetic actions of the police department and other officials have sealed the deal. We will not be back. I am saddened that the local government has ruined the attractiveness of St. John because of an inability to function in a way that makes people feel safe and protected.
As far as the actions of Jamie Cockayne’s family and friends go, I would be seeking outside help in any way that I could as well if I was in their horrific situation. I hope that they get answers and justice in the end. I hope that “the end” is achieved swiftly so that this family can find some peace after the horrendous series of events they have endured. In short, there is no other way for them to proceed, than to bring outside attention because the local authorities have not acted on their behalf.
Finally, I hope that someone with a means to effect change, will step up to ensure that this horror story, and all of the other negative actions making headlines recently, will end! It is with bitter sweetness that I say goodbye to a place that has given me so much but that can no longer offer one simple thing: peace of mind.
Editor’s Note: V.I. Superior Court Judge Brenda Hollar set Boston’s bail at $100,000 in front of Assistant Attorney General Brenda Scales. His family posted $200,000 in property to secure his release on Friday, August 24.