South Reward:--- Police arrested a school bus driver identified by sources as Robert Reid for the brutal murder of his 13 year old daughter whose body was found burnt in a ravine in South Reward. The source said the victim is a first form student of the St. Maarten Academy (PSVE) who recently graduated from the St. Joseph Primary School. The 13 year old girl has been identified as Tiffany Reid who was born on St. Maarten to Jamaican parents.
Police conducted a search of the father's home Tuesday night in Nazareth Dutch Quarter when they discovered the body and arrested the father of the victim. Police also seized two vehicles when they conducted the house search.
Sources say the child's mother and father separated some months ago and the child is living with her mother but is transported to and from school by her father. SMN News further learnt that Tiffany's mother showed up at the St. Maarten Academy (PSVE Section) on Wednesday inquiring if her daughter had gone to school on Wednesday since police did not inform her of the incident and their gruesome discovery Tuesday night. The mother they said heard of her daughter's brutal murder on the road. Police later briefed the mother at the Philipsburg Police Station on Wednesday afternoon but up to late Wednesday she was not taken to see the burnt body of the teenager they found in the ravine.
The body of the child was found in a ravine on Pumpkin Road, South Reward, while it is understood that the family lives in Dutch Quarter. What is still to be determined is if the father killed the child elsewhere and then took her body to South Reward to burn it.
The source said some residents on Pumpkin Road heard an explosion and they saw fire, and they also saw a man running away from the scene. One source said the neighbors managed to take the vehicle number that the man escaped with. They said the man was severely burnt and he went to the St. Maarten Medical Center for treatment but left claiming he was going to look for his missing child. The source said the man was told that he had to be admitted to the St. Maarten Medical Center since the burn wounds he sustained were severe, but he walked out of the medical institution.
One of the neighbors they said even confronted the man when he was running away and asked him what he was burning in the ravine. SMN News learnt that the father probably made a homemade bomb to burn the body in the thick bushes in South Reward.
The source further stated that the mother of the child is a teacher and works in Philipsburg and her daughter would normally meet her in town after school and when she did not show up the mother contacted the child's father at least twice Tuesday afternoon to inquire about her daughter which led both of them to file a missing person report Tuesday night at the Philipsburg Police Station.
In a lengthy press release, Police Spokesman Ricardo Henson said that at approximately 8:20pm Tuesday night several police patrols, detectives, officers of the Forensic Department and several firemen were directed to South Reward Road in the vicinity of Pumpkin Road where the severely burnt body of a person was found in a ravine.
Henson said the body was located deep in the ravine and with the assistance of the fire department the body was removed and brought up to the South Reward Road. The body turned out to be that of a young female, but because of the state of the body her identity and age could not be established.
Henson said while police and detectives were still at the scene investigating the gruesome discovery, the detectives received a call from the Central Dispatch informing them that a couple (two people) with the initials E.J. and R.R. both born in Jamaica had been at the police station and had filed a report that their 13 year old daughter with the initials T. R. was missing. After filing this report, the couple left the police station. According to the officer in charge at the police station, the father who filed the "missing person report" had severe burns on several parts of his body. This information was shared with the detectives who were conducting the investigation. Subsequently orders to locate and apprehend this person was immediately given to the other patrols on the streets. At approximately 11:00pm Tuesday night this suspect (father of the child) was arrested in the Middle Region area by a police patrol and taken to the Philipsburg police station where he is being held in custody. The body of the victim has been confiscated for further investigation.
The Police Spokesman said the investigation is still in its preliminary stages and the identity of victim still has to be established.
The Police Department is also asking anyone who may have any information that could help in this investigation to contact the police department.