Police in Anguilla who have charged Darien resident Gavin Scott Hapgood with manslaughter don’t yet have a motive for the killing of Kevin Mitchel in Hapgood’s hotel room on April 13, but they’ve released some additional details about the case, the Associated Press reported on Tuesday.
Hapgood’s young daughters were in the hotel room when Mitchel died from “positional asphyxia,” police spokesman Randy Dick told the AP.
According to the news service, “It is unclear how the 27-year-old Mitchel ended up in Hapgood’s hotel room at the upscale Malliouhana resort where he worked.”
—See also: “Darienite Gavin Scott Hapgood Charged With Manslaughter in Anguilla” (April 20)
Tensions have been high in Anguilla since news of the homicide broke last week, with comments on social media “both from Anguillans demanding justice for Mitchel and from foreigners who regularly visit the island, with some saying the general anger directed at tourists frightened them.”
The Anguillian newspaper editorialized that residents of the nation, a British territory with less than 15,000 people, should keep calm and let law enforcement authorities do their jobs as a matter of justice.
The editorial also pointed out that angry marches wouldn’t be good for one of the nation’s biggest industries — tourism.
“What could have conceivably been achieved by marching or, worse yet, marching to a resort? As a five-star tourism destination, where guests pay a pretty penny to come and visit, how many do we think will return if they are faced with a protest at a property where they are supposed to be vacationing? The tourism industry is our bread and butter. […] [W]e ought not to exacerbate the situation by our ongoing tirades.”
Hapgood, 44, an account manager with UBS Global Asset Management in New York City, was released on $74,000 bail and returned home last week. He is scheduled to appear again on Aug. 22 in an Anguillan court.
Editor’s note: The deceased man’s last name has been spelled three different ways in various news accounts and in statements from Anguillan police and other public officials. The Associated Press is using the spelling “Mitchel,” so Darienite.com will do so. Other spellings have been “Michel” and “Mitchell.”