US Tourist Killed in Grenada: Former Prisoner Allegedly Responsible

Sunday saw some pretty tragic news coming out of Grenada with reports of a U.S Tourist brutally murdered in the country. Jessica Colker, 39, was believed to be on vacation on the island before she died from “extensive skull facture and asphyxia”. However, a prime suspect has now come forward in the murder.

Dave Martin Benjamin handed himself in to the St. David police station on Monday morning and is believed to have killed Jessica Colker. Shockingly though, it’s widely believed that Benjamin was actually a former prisoner in Grenada, and now questions are being raised around how he was able to go on and commit the time.

Colker was attacked by the alleged suspect while she was walking on Le-Cheasere beach in La Sagesse in St. David with her husband. The suspect was apparently wielding a machete-like weapon according to reports from The Blaze. Luckily, Colker’s husband, Brian Melito was able to escape the attacker unharmed. This was before Colker’s body was found nearby minutes later and the attacker had fled the scene.

Jessica Colker herself had lived in Atlanta and worked as a physician’s assistant in anaesthesiology and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. The hospital had the following to say about Colker’s death, and it’s pretty clear that she’ll be a missed member of the team:

“Jessica was a valued member of our children’s team. We are deeply saddened by this horrific news. Our thoughts and prayers go out to her family during this very difficult time.”

Colker and Melito were fans of travelling the world and had only been married for a couple of years prior to this incident. They fell in love whilst travelling through Central America and decided to marry after a three-month engagement. The death of Jessica Colker is sure to come as a huge shock her husband Melito, who as aforementioned escaped with his life.

Questions around this case now turn to Dave Martin Benjamin, who is the main suspect in the local police’s investigation. St David police will be keen to find out more about Benjamin’s motivation in this case and exactly why Colker was targeted like this. It certainly remains suspicious that Colker’s was attacked with a machete, but ended up with a fractured skull and strangulation. This is definitely a case that is puzzling residents of St. David and those across the island of Grenada as the police investigation deepens.

As aforementioned, Dave Martin Benjamin is widely believed to be an ex-convict who has recently been released from prison. However, details are yet to come to light around what Dave Martin Benjamin served time in prison for and why he was released. It’s pretty clear that Dave Martin Benjamin remained a prominent threat to the population of St David, and the prison service will have some tough questions to answer around why exactly he was released from prison if he posed such a threat. All of that and more are likely to be at the center of the local police’s investigation into this tragic killing.

That said, the above doesn’t take away from the fact that an innocent tourist has been murdered during a relaxing break in Grenada. The Caribbean island largely relies on tourism, so it will be interesting to see what effect this attack has on the island’s tourism industry and whether or not American tourists will return to the island. However, this doesn’t appear to be a racially motivated attack at the current time, and the police investigation will likely come to a firm conclusion in the near future.

[Photo by Hamish Blair/ Getty Images]