An anesthesiologist from Atlanta was raped and murder just hours after arriving at a five-star resort in the Caribbean. Jessica Colker, 39, was found dead on a beach in La Sagesse on the morning of January 24, according to the U.S. Embassy in Grenada. A man, named locally as David Benjamin, is being questioned by local police but no arrests have been made. Colker was vacationing on the island with her husband, Brian Melito, 62.
She is the second tourist to murdered on the island in the past few weeks. In December 2015, Canadian national Linnea Veinotte was killed. A suspect, Akim Frank, has been charged with murder in the case.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Her Husband Was Attacked As Well But Survived
Grenada news station MTV reports that Colker and her husband were attacked by a man armed with a small sword while they walked on the beach. It was Brian Melito who raised the alarm after the attack. Witnesses told local media that subsequently, armed soldiers were scene patrolling and searching the scene. NBC News reports that Colker’s cause of death was caused by “extensive skull fracture and asphyxia.”
British journalist, Sue Hardy, who was staying at the hotel told the Daily Mail that Colker was described as “very beautiful” to her by a hotel staff member. She said that had been “told” that Colker was also raped. Hardy noted that the attack happened on a “hidden beach” which is far from the main resort.
2. She Met Her Husband at a Dance Class in Costa Rica
According to the couple’s profile at TheKnot.com, Colker and Melito met in Costa Rica while both were there for a dance class. The were engaged in August 2014 and got married in November 2014. In the “How We Met” section of the site it reads:
Brian and I met at a dance workshop in Costa Rica. We had a smoothie together on the second day of the workshop and spent the rest of the week dancing, talking, surfing, eating great food, swimming in the ocean under the stars, and generally falling in love.
3. Colker Was a Children’s Anesthesiologist in Atlanta
Online records show that Colker is a registered pediatric anesthesiologist with Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. Her LinkedIn page offers little information about her education or professional experience. On his page, Brian Melito details his history in medicine and says that he no longer works in “clinical confines” and now would rather “get something done.”
A neighbor of Colker’s told NBC Atlanta that, “Jessica was one of the most genuine, loving, real people I’d ever met.”
4. David Benjamin Was Just Released From Prison
The U.S. Embassy for the Caribbean islands, based in Bridgetown, Barbados, released a statement on January 25, saying they were “working closely with officials investigating Ms. Colker’s death.” St. Lucia News Online reports that the man being questioned, Dave Benjamin, was recently released from prison on rape charges. He turned himself in voluntarily to a police station in Grenada on the morning of January 25. Head of the Community Relations Division of the Grenada Police Force, Sylvan McIntyre, told the media, “What I can tell you now is that he is in custody. He was not captured, but he turned himself in and our investigations will continue, as we believe he can assist us with our investigations into the incident.”
5. La Sagesse Is ‘Grenada’s Best Romantic Getaway’
Blending the elegance and charm of an English country house with the tropical climate, beautiful palm tree shaded beach and lush vegetation, this wildly romantic hideaway offers a wonderful opportunity for recreation, relaxation, nature appreciation and the ambiance in which to enjoy it.