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Police arrest third suspect in St. Maarten killings

By the CNN Wire Staff
updated 11:39 AM EDT, Sat October 6, 2012
The bodies of Michael and Thelma King of South Carolina were discovered at their residence in Cupecoy, St. Maarten.
The bodies of Michael and Thelma King of South Carolina were discovered at their residence in Cupecoy, St. Maarten.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The 20-year-old man was sent to St. Maarten from St. Thomas
  • The suspect is expected to appear before a judge on Monday
  • Michael and Thelma King were found stabbed to death in their home

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

The 20-year-old, identified by his initials J.J.W., was arrested on St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands, where he had allegedly fled. The suspect was then extradited to St. Maarten, where he was arrested again upon his arrival, according to a statement from the St. Maarten Public Prosecutor's office.

He is expected to appear before a judge Monday.

Two other suspects are 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.

The first suspect, a 28-year-old Jamaican-born man identified as M.K.J., has confessed to his involvement in the murders, according to the island's solicitor general, Taco Stein.

Investigators are now working to confirm the details of the suspect's statements and are gathering additional evidence to present in court, said Stein.

A second suspect in custody in the Kings' murders has been identified as a 17-year-old man with the initials of J.C.M.

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 Stein.

Investigators believe the murders took place during a robbery of the Kings, he said.

Bodies of couple handed over to relatives

CNN's Gabriel Falcon contributed to this report.

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