Opinion: Eric Yuan SamPOSTED: 08/29/12 2:02 PM
It took some time but now it seems that justice will be done for Eric Yuan Sam, the supermarket manager who was murdered on December 30, 2009 in Dutch Quarter. With Akeem Daniel, a young man who was recently sentenced to 9 years for being an accomplice to the murder of Amador Jones on April 16 of last year, investigators have identified their first suspect.
It stands to reason to assume that the detectives have firm evidence to link the by now 22-year old to the killing. Just four months after the murder, in April 2010, his name surfaced for the first time as a suspect but at the time investigators did not manage to seal the case.
The arrest is the result of a lot of hard work by detectives and prosecutors. Initially it looked like the case would go nowhere. Last year, with its explosion of gang-related murders, put so much pressure on the available investigative capacity that the Sam-murder seemed all but forgotten. But in early May of this year the prosecutor’s office announced that it had reopened the investigation, and by the end of the month it announced that it was close to solving the case.
The time-consuming investigation was led by mr. Manon Ridderbeks, a prosecutor who recently returned to the Netherlands. Without any doubt she would have seen closing this case as the crown on her work in St. Maarten, though she will be pleased to hear that others managed to finish the job.
Daniel was arrested in the House of Detention. That may seem like a weird occurrence, but it is a necessary formal step in the process that might in the end bring him to trial for this crime.
The suspect acted not alone. Video footage of the brutal shooting shows that there were four robbers involved. Investigators will now probably pressure Daniel to give up the names of his partners in crime.