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ASHANTI RILEY

Mark Bassant

After the killers unsuccessfully tried to strangle 18-year-old Ashanti Riley with a belt they stabbed her repeatedly in the chest and abdomen before disposing of her body in a Santa Cruz river. Those were the results of an autopsy performed on the teenager’s body at the Forensic Sciences Center in St James earlier today.

The autopsy revealed that her death was caused by sharp force injury to the chest and lower abdomen.

Riley left her home two Sundays ago, taking a PH taxi outside her Sunshine Avenue home in San Juan. Her nude body was found four days later in a river in Santa Cruz.

Investigators told Guardian Media that a belt and a knife they believe were used in her killing were recovered from the suspects. Sources familiar with the investigation said her killers first attempted to strangle her with the belt but when that did not work, they used a knife to kill the teenager.

A 32-year-old PH taxi driver who had picked up the teenager was detained by police one day later and mere hours after the discovery of Ashanti’s body last Thursday another man from Laventille Road, San Juan, was held. Police are searching for a third suspect.

Sources said the taxi driver had returned the PH car the day after the murder to the owner and had told them he had gotten a better offer.

In an unrelated incident, the autopsy of Krystal Primus-Espinoza, whose body was found off the east coast after her crashed Toyota Hilux vehicle was discovered along the beach in Toco, revealed that she died from asphyxiation due to drowning. The other injuries she sustained were consistent with a fall.

Primus-Espinoza’s gold-coloured Hilux, which she was driving when she left her St Ann’s Village home last week Wednesday, was found the following day on the shoreline at a Balandra beach, having run off the road and over a 50-foot cliff. Officers were able to immediately identify it as Primus’ vehicle, as her driver’s permit and that of her husband, Alvon Espinoza, were still in the vehicle.