The police continue to investigate a homicide on St. John that has garnered attention from the stateside media. The body of James Malfetti, 41, was found inside his Boatman Point Road apartment on Jan. 19 with stab wounds to his neck.
“The officers are working on the case every day,” Police Department spokesman Melody Rames said Thursday.
In response to harsh criticism in stateside media reports that claim the V.I. Police Department isn’t responsive and isn’t aggressive enough in pursuing the case, Rames would only say “the focus is on the case.”
Malfetti, who was from Scotch Plains, N.J., had lived on St. John about a year and ran a technical consulting business.
His parents, James and Rosemary Malfetti, hired a private detective to investigate their son’s murder for them.
“We have what we consider a very strong suspect,” detective Todd Phoenix said from his Florida base.
While Phoenix declined to name the suspect, he said that person resides within the territory.
Phoenix said his investigation was hampered because he was called into the case a week after Malfetti’s body was found. Additionally he said he wasn’t getting cooperation from local law enforcement agencies.
Malfetti’s parents also called on New Jersey Sen. Robert Menendez for help. He requested assistance from the FBI.
Menendez and Malfetti’s parents could not be reached for comment.
This homicide was the first on St. John for this year. The last murder on St. John was in 2012.
Source records show that crime dropped territorywide by more than 40 percent between 2012 and 2013. There were 58 homicides in 2012 and 34 in 2013. Police Commissioner Rodney Querrard attributed the decrease to a community more willing to provide information about crimes to the police.