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Tragic Incident in St. Thomas: Mother Arrested in Daughter’s Death, Governor Bryan Highlights Importance of Mental Health Awareness

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Anyah Smith’s booking photograph, courtesy of the Virgin Islands Police Department.

In a sobering update during the Government House press briefing on Monday, Governor Albert Bryan Jr. shared poignant details about a recent heartbreaking event on the island of St. Thomas. He recounted the tragic story of a mother who, in a desperate act, took the life of her nine-year-old daughter and attempted to take her own.

“The community of St. Thomas has been shaken by a distressing event this weekend where a mother, in a tragic culmination of events, succeeded in taking her young daughter’s life while also attempting to end her own,” Governor Bryan expressed. Until now, the details surrounding the young girl’s death had been kept under wraps, with the Virgin Islands Police Department (VIPD) initially describing the incident as a suspicious drowning in their statement late Saturday.

Investigators had been meticulously piecing together the events leading up to the tragedy. Early suspicions suggested the girl may have drowned near the St. Thomas waterfront, with her body later moved near Vitraco Mall. A suspect was quickly identified by the police in the investigation.

In a significant development following Governor Bryan’s briefing, the VIPD confirmed the arrest of 32-year-old Anyah Smith, the child’s mother, on charges of first-degree murder among other related accusations regarding her daughter’s untimely demise.

Insiders revealed to the Consortium that the day began with turmoil at the Smith residence, where Anyah was witnessed discarding items from her home before leaving with her daughter, signaling a distressing lead-up to the tragic outcome.

Amid the sorrow, Governor Bryan turned the spotlight on the broader issue of mental health within the Virgin Islands community. He underscored the need for vigilance and support for one another, emphasizing the critical importance of being “our brother’s keeper.” In the wake of the tragedy, the governor highlighted the provision of support for the classmates of the young victim at Jane E. Tuitt Elementary School, who are grappling with the sudden loss of their peer.

This incident serves as a stark reminder of the fragility of mental health and the urgent need for community awareness and intervention to prevent such tragedies in the future.

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Crime

Former Deputy Park Superintendent of St. Croix Sentenced for Property Conversion and Fraud

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ST. CROIX, VI – Gregory Camacho, 43, previously Deputy Park Superintendent for the National Park Service in St. Croix, received a sentence of nine months of home detention and four years of probation for unlawfully converting property, according to U.S. Attorney for the USVI, Delia L. Smith. The sentencing was handed down by District Judge Wilma A. Lewis on Thursday.

In addition to home detention and probation, Judge Lewis imposed a $6,000 fine and a special assessment of $75 on Camacho. He was also ordered to pay restitution amounting to $29,502.20 to the National Park Service.

According to court filings, Camacho, during his tenure as acting park superintendent from June 2019 to August 2020, occupied two housing units owned by the National Park Service without fulfilling rental payments, causing a loss of $14,192.10. In another instance in July 2019, Camacho deceitfully claimed relocation expenses for his family’s move from Titusville, FL, to St. Croix, even though he moved alone. This action led to unjust reimbursements totaling $13,387.50.

Furthermore, between October 2018 and September 2019, Camacho was found to have submitted overlapping travel vouchers for the same trips from his primary duty station, resulting in an additional $1,922.50 in improper gains.

These findings were brought to light through an investigation by the Office of the Inspector General of the U.S. Department of the Interior, with the case prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Daniel H. Huston.

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Daylight Assault in St. Thomas Leaves Man Injured

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A distressing incident unfolded on St. Thomas when a man suffered injuries in a daylight assault in Simmonds Alley, according to a statement from the V.I. Police Department. The attack occurred on Wednesday around 12:15 p.m.

Authorities were alerted to the situation when the 911 Emergency Call Center received a call about a man found bleeding from the neck near the Jala Jala establishment on Kronprindsens Gade. Responding officers discovered the victim with a severe laceration on the left side of his neck, believed to be the result of the assault.

Despite the seriousness of his injuries, the victim refrained from providing a statement to law enforcement at the scene. He was quickly transported to Schneider Regional Medical Center for medical attention.

The VIPD’s Criminal Investigation Bureau has taken charge of the investigation and is urging the public to assist by providing any relevant information. Individuals can contact the CIB at (340) 774-2211 or call 911. For those preferring to stay anonymous, tips can be submitted to Crime Stoppers USVI by calling 1-800-222-8477 or online.

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Six Arrests Made in St. Thomas Drug Trafficking Crackdown

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ST. THOMAS — A targeted joint operation by the Virgin Islands Police Department, alongside the Drug Enforcement Agency and the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Task Force, resulted in the arrest of six men accused of drug-related crimes in the Red Hook area, a noted hub for illegal narcotics activity.

Throughout February, these coordinated efforts focused on dismantling drug trafficking networks, culminating in several key arrests:

  • N’Kel Morton, 30, was taken into custody at Red Hook Plaza on March 8, 2024, facing charges of cocaine possession with intent to distribute.
  • On March 7, 2024, Jaamal Bell, 42, was arrested at American Yacht Harbor, charged with intent to distribute narcotics.
  • Peter Francis Jr., 33, encountered the same fate at the same location, on identical charges.
  • Anwar Lockhart, 40, was arrested on March 15, 2024, on Cassi Hill for cocaine distribution.
  • Niah Henry, 35, was apprehended on March 16, 2024, at Red Hook Plaza, with charges similar to Morton’s.
  • Kenson Plasimond, 43, was arrested on March 7, 2024, at Tutu Park Mall, also charged with possession with intent to distribute.

These arrests signify a continued commitment by local and federal law enforcement to curb the flow of illegal drugs in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

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