Breakthrough in Eric Yuan Sam murder investigation – Afoo-suspect arrested who was already in detentionPOSTED: 08/29/12 2:08 PM
St. Maarten – The first suspect in the December 30, 2009 murder of Afoo Food Club Manager Eric Yuan Sam was taken into custody on Monday in the House of Detention. Chief prosecutor Hans Mos identified the suspect as A.D., who was recently sentenced to 9 years imprisonment in the Vesuvius-case.
On June 27, the Court in First Instance sentenced Kennedy Cynrick Akeem Daniel for being an accessory to the murder of Amador Jones on April 16 of last year. This murder is part of the larger Vesuvius-investigation. In June 2010 Daniel was sentenced to 8 months imprisonment (of which 3 months were suspended) and 3 years of probation for threatening the life of a policeman during his detention in Statia and for destroying the interior of his cell. Daniel was also charged with attempted manslaughter on a couple in Middle Region on September 16, 2008 but the court acquitted him.
In June, the court found Daniel guilty of taking max Bye, aka Mad Max on his bike to the Under the Sun car wash and snack bar on the Gladiola Road, where Bye murdered Amador Jones.
Daniel has now been arrested as a suspect in the Afoo-investigation. “He is suspected of involvement in this robbery,” mr. Mos said. “We are now in the process of hearing witnesses. This is an important step in this investigation.”
The chief prosecutor said prosecutor Manon Ridderbeks who recently returned to the Netherlands, had done a lot of work to bring the investigation to its conclusion. Ridderbeks had expected to finish the case before her departure, but things did not work out that way.
Eric Sam was murdered on the evening of Wednesday December 30, 20099, when four men stormed into the Food Club supermarket in Dutch Quarter. The robbers all carried shotguns; they wore helmets to disguise their identity.
The robbers fired shots in the air and demanded money. After they got some cash, they turned on Sam, 48, who had resisted the robbers, and shot him in the chest, according to eye witnesses. Other eye witnesses claimed that Sam was shot in the face.
Daniel’s name first came up as a suspect in the case in April 2010, but investigators did not manage together to put the evidence against him. Just when the murder threatened to become a cold case, the prosecutor’s office decided to reopen the investigation in May of this year. The Afoo supermarket offered a $20,000 reward for information that would lead to Sam’s killer or killers. Already at the end of May the prosecutor’s office told this newspaper that it was close to solving the murder, and now the first suspect is in custody.