Sun | Nov 29, 2020

DNA samples dead end in New Yorker’s murder, says cop

Published:Tuesday | September 8, 2020 | 12:28 AMJanet Silvera/Senior Gleaner Writer
Desiree Gibbon
Desiree Gibbon


DNA samples taken from six persons of interest and close associates of murdered American model Desiree Gibbon have not led to the arrest or identity of the New Yorker’s killer three years after her death.

The body of Gibbon, who was staying at her grandmother’s Gibbs Chateau bed-and-breakfast facility in Mt Salem, was found by a groundsman in bushes along the Long Hill main road in St James with the throat slashed on November 25, 2017, days after she went missing.

“Intensive investigation is still being carried out in the St James Division to locate several persons who had contact with the deceased prior to her death, for the purpose of conducting interviews and the recording of statements where necessary,” Senior Superintendent of Police Michael Phipps stated in a report to The Gleaner.

Revealing that some 14 witness statements have so far been recorded, including that of the person who found the body, Phipps said that footage from closed-circuit television at Gibbs Chateau or a nearby security company has not enhanced the investigation.

Gibbon was last seen alive at Gibbs Chateau.

Data from her local cellular phone, which remains in police possession, and her international Apple iPhone, have not advanced the investigation.

“Investigators were of the opinion that this could have greatly assisted with the investigation,” Phipps, who is in charge of crime in Area One, said.

The investigating officers seemed confident in their role as investigators, noting that after locating and taking DNA samples from the first person of interest, the samples were sent to the Government Forensic Laboratory for analysis.

“An analytical comparison was done by the Forensic Medical Institute in Kingston on the buccal swab taken from the person. A certificate was prepared and handed to the investigator, which indicated that the traces of DNA found on the deceased were not that of the person of interest,” said the policeman.

Other buccal swabs were taken, including from a family member of the deceased, but the SSP said that the results excluded that individual as a person of interest.

Regular updates

The police are also denying any absence of contact with Andrea Gibbon, mother of the deceased, who in an open letter last weekend called on Prime Minister Andrew Holness to intervene in helping to find her daughter’s killer.

“I want answers. I need justice for my beloved daughter. She was my world, my life, my fame. She is the best thing I ever did. I’m sure you can say the same when you look at your sons, Adam and Matthew,” the mother pleaded to Holness.

However, Phipps said that investigators have been giving regular updates to the mother on any new developments.