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Police arrest second suspect in St. Maarten killings

From Tristan Smith, CNN
updated 5:32 AM EDT, Tue October 2, 2012
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The 17-year-old man is identified by his initials, J.C.M.
  • Another suspect is scheduled to appear in court this week
  • Michael and Thelma King were found stabbed to death in their home

(CNN) -- Police arrested Monday a second suspect in connection with the stabbing deaths of an American couple on the Caribbean island of St. Maarten, authorities said.

The 17-year-old man was identified by his initials, J.C.M. He was arrested in the Cole Bay area shortly before 4 p.m., according to a statement from the St. Maarten Public Prosecutor's office.

It said further arrests could not be ruled out.

A 28-year-old suspect is already in custody in connection with the deaths of Michael and Thelma King. Their bodies were discovered last month at their oceanfront residence in Cupecoy, a beach town on the southwest tip of the Dutch island nation.

That suspect, known as M.K.J., denies any involvement in the killings, his attorney has said.

He appeared in a closed-door court hearing last week and is expected to appear again Wednesday, when prosecutors will seek to have the judge order the suspect's pre-trial detention.

Neither suspect has been formally charged in court.

St. Maarten is a self-governing country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands, whose economy is based on the tourism industry. More than 1 million tourists visit the island each year.

The killings occurred in what is generally considered a safe area that is popular with tourists, according to the island's solicitor general, Taco Stein.

Stein, who was once solicitor general for Aruba, has said authorities "are not certain of the motive in the case."

"Some things are missing" from the Kings' home, but there were no signs of a break-in, he said.

Bodies of U.S. couple killed in St. Maarten are handed over to relatives

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