Partially burned bodies of couple found after they complained of being duped out of £50,000 by credit card fraudsters
A total of 45 credit card transactions were made between August 2017 and May 2018 and Gayle had to go to the UK to get a copy of those receipts to prove they were being scammed
A British couple, living in Jamaica, was found dead near their home in an incident that the local police are treating as a suspected double-murder. Local media have reported that the corpses of 71-year-old Gayle Anderson and her 74-year-old husband, Charlie Anderson, were found "partially burned" close to their home in Mount Pleasant, Jamaica, on June 22 afternoon. The elderly couple had retired and moved to the Caribbean island nation about a year ago. The Andersons were said to have had quite a few wounds to the neck and face. The authorities are requesting the public to help them solving the crime.
The first body to be found was that of Gayle. She was found with her hands and feet bound. Charlie's body was found around two hours later with, according to what the local police believe, are gunshot wounds. Initial investigations into the case have revealed that the couple had complained to the police that they were recently scammed out of $8 million Jamaican dollars (£50,000) by credit card fraudsters, the Jamaica Gleaner reported.
A murder investigation's underway in Jamaica after a Manchester couple were found dead on Friday. Halford 'Charlie' and Florence 'Gayle' Anderson, had not long retired there. Their family say they're devastated, describing them as 'hugely popular and loved by many'. pic.twitter.com/KVGl6MBsmn— BBC North West (@BBCNWT) June 24, 2018
Investigators on the case are on the lookout for a man who is from the local Mount Pleasant community. The unknown man reportedly ran from the area over a month ago after having allegedly committed the crimes. According to one family member of the couple, a total of 45 credit card transactions were made to big hardware stores and supermarkets in Portland between August 2017 and May 2018 without the Andersons knowing. Gayle had gone back to the UK forcefully just two weeks before she died in order to get copies of the commercial transactions the scammer had made in her name.
Deputy Superintendent of Police Throyville Haughton told the Jamaica Gleaner: "Both bodies had wounds to the neck and face. However, we are not yet able to say what might have caused those injuries. We are making every effort to bring closure to this heinous crime, and as such, we are getting assistance from our Area Headquarters and also from Technical Services from Kingston. Our detectives are still in the area carrying out investigations."
The Andersons' sons have collectively said in a statement to Foreign and Commonwealth Office: "Our parents Charlie and Gayle enjoyed a long and happy marriage of 55 years and leave behind their four grandchildren and one great-grandchild. They were hardworking people, building a business with integrity and making sure we were always provided for. Charlie and Gayle were pillars of the community in Manchester and Jamaica, and were hugely popular and loved by many."
"They were just beginning the next chapter of their lives, retiring to Jamaica before this terrible tragedy. We would like to thank our friends, family and community for their prayers and support. We are completely devastated and ask for privacy at this extremely difficult time."
51-year-old Kishore Singh, the former neighbor of the couple from High Bank, Manchester, said: "They were two of the most beautiful people in the world, Charlie was like a father to me." He said that Charlie had been building the couples' retirement home in Jamaica over the past few years and had been traveling back and forth between the UK and the island till it was complete.
He continued: "He would tell me 'I'm going home, I've worked in this country and now I want to go home and retire and enjoy my last few years. He would tell me how the house building was going with so much pride in his face. We'd stand outside talking for hours. When I found out what happened I couldn't accept it. Not Charlie."
Charlie was a builder and he had reportedly spent his free time helping Singh renovate his house when he had moved into the area around 12 years ago. He said: "He would come round every morning and show me what to do, and again at 4 pm after he had finished work, he didn't ask for a penny. I can't big him up enough, he made time for everyone. And when we moved in Gayle was over straight away with housewarming presents and gifts."
Singh said that the couple permanently moved to Jamaica around 12 months ago. Before that they had lived in Manchester for decades but made a trip back to the UK after they became the victims of the scammer in the credit card fraud.
Jerome Heslop, a local farmer from the community in Jamaica said: "I am baffled by these murders. They have given so much to this community, and they have never said no to anyone. Each time they are in Jamaica, they bring back shoes, clothes, tablets, food stuff, school items, and other stuff for residents. It is a wicked and sinful act, and the community has lost two great people."
Currently, the Jamaican authorities are seeking to tackle a crime wave which has resulted in more than 1,600 murders in 2017. So far this year more than 600 people have been killed, including seven people who had returned to the island after living abroad. A limited state of emergency has been put in place in two high crime areas in an effort to cut the murder rate, states a report in the BBC.