The Bob Woolmer murder March 30, 2007

Shields: it is "categorically" a murder investigation

Cricinfo staff



Mark Shields: additional factors which had not been made public that backed up the case that Woolmer had been murdered © Getty Images
Mark Shields, Jamaica's deputy commissioner of police, told the media on Thursday that Bob Woolmer could have been strangled with some sort of fabric - possibly a hotel towel - which would help explain why no marks were found on his neck.

Speculation has intensified in the last few days over Woolmer's death, with some beginning to question whether he was in fact murdered. The lack of marks of the neck has been put forward as one of the oddities in the case, but Shields reiterated that it was "categorically" a murder investigation.

"If it's some form of manual strangulation and there are no physical marks on the neck of the victim, therefore there may have been something between the hands of the assailant and the neck of the victim," he said. "That is as far as I will go."

Shields also said that examination of the CCTV from the night of Woolmer's death had now been analysed and that the police now had images of everyone who had been in the Pegasus Hotel's 12th-floor corridor.

However, he admitted that there was still uncertainty over the time Woolmer had been attacked. All that was known for sure was that he sent an email sometime between 8pm and 9pm, and that he had also ordered room service during that period. "Until I establish an exact time of death it is very difficult to tie down when we should be looking at the tape," he added.

Meanwhile, Dr Ere Seshaiah, the pathologist who carried out the autopsy on Woolmer's body, spoke out after increasing speculation that his conclusions were open to doubt.

"Questions are always there but I'm confident of my ability," he said. "I worked on this post mortem for two hours. I did a complete post mortem and arrived at a cause of death. Then I prepared my report and handed it over to the top police command. I did the best of my abilities and so did my team. We did our best."

Shields earlier said that he had no reason to doubt Dr Seshiah's findings and stressed that there were additional factors which had not been made public that backed up the case that Woolmer had been murdered.

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