As authorities in St. Maarten continue their investigation into the brutal murder of Guyanese art teacher Rhonda Thomas, who was found dead in her Beacon Hill home on Monday last, Police have arrested a suspect identified as Bernal Louingston Neale.
It was reported by SMN News that the suspect, a national of Nevis, is the alleged boyfriend of the dead teacher. Neale is well known to Police as a “woman abuser”, as his permanent residency was revoked in 2006 by former Lt. Governor Franklin Richards because Police had several cases against him for abusing women with weapons.
In 2006, Neale was accused of abusing his ex-wife, a minor, and a girlfriend. However, he appealed the decision issued by former Lt. Governor Franklin Richards, and managed to keep his permanent residency and remain in St. Maarten.
Police Spokesman Joe Josepha confirmed a suspect was arrested on Wednesday evening. It was reported that on Monday, February 15, 2021, at approximately 12.00h, the Police officers found Thomas lying motionless in her home.
It was concluded that the victim died of foul play, and her body was confiscated for further investigation.
After the arrest, a search was conducted at the house of the suspect in the Middle Region area. Several items were confiscated during the house search by the detectives.
Subsequently, the suspect was handed over to the Police Station in Philipsburg, St. Maarten, where he remains in custody pending further investigation.