Danisha Valerio, 26, the girlfriend of Jeremy Baptist, 25, of Boca Del Rio, San Pedro, and Baptist’s family, are in anguish and are hoping that his body is soon recovered so that they can have closure and move on.
The grieving girlfriend said that Baptist went missing in the early morning hours of May 20 and tomorrow, September 20, will complete four months since he left home and has not yet returned.
Police believe that Baptist was shot and killed during an altercation with some men at a party about 1:30 a.m. Sunday, May 19, in the San Juan area of San Pedro, and that his body was taken out to the lagoon in a boat and dumped overboard.
Police say that the boat which they believe was used to carry the body to the lagoon was found, with blood in it. The blood was sent for analysis at the department’s forensic lab.
However, in an interview with Amandala this morning, Superintendent Luis Castellanos, Commander of San Pedro Town Police, informed the newspaper that the results of the test done on the blood found on the boat were inconclusive. When asked whether it was human blood, the Commander replied no, that it was in fact animal blood. He also said that they have not gotten any other leads concerning Baptist’s whereabouts, but they are still looking for him.
Police reports are that 1:30 a.m. Sunday, May 19, Jeremy Baptist became involved in an argument with a group of men at a residence in San Juan, and in the course of the altercation he was shot multiple times, then his body was put in a boat and taken out into the lagoon and disposed of by the men.
Valerio, his girlfriend, told police that on Sunday, May 19, she and Baptist attended a party at a residence located in the San Juan area, San Pedro, at about 7:45 p.m. He took her home about 10:00 that night because their baby, who had been with them at the party, began to get fussy. He then returned to the party, and that was the last time she saw him, Valerio said.
Valerio became worried when Baptist did not return home that night, and went to police on Sunday and reported him missing.
Police began an investigation the next day, Monday, into Baptist’s disappearance, and they concluded at that time that he had been shot and killed the previous night, Sunday, at the party and that his body had been disposed of.
Police said that they have searched the lagoon and coast, but have not found the body.
Valerio said that the family is urging police and the Coast Guard not to give up trying to find Baptist. They say that he was a peaceful and friendly person, and was easy to get along with. He did not deserve the kind of death he suffered, they say.