Jamaica police to seek DNA samples in Woolmer murder

Pakistan's cricket coach was found strangled to death in his hotel room in Jamaica; ICC investigates whether match fixing was a motive.

woolmer 88 (photo credit: )
woolmer 88
(photo credit: )
Police will seek DNA samples from everyone in the hotel where Pakistan cricket coach Bob Woolmer was murdered - including members of the West Indies and Ireland teams. Jamaica Deputy Police Commissioner Mark Shields called the effort "a huge task," and said on Monday there would be no quick end to the probe into who strangled Woolmer after his team's surprise elimination from the World Cup on St. Patrick's Day. "There are many potential suspects in this investigation and even more potential witnesses," Shields said at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel, where Woolmer's body was found the day after his team lost to Ireland. Jamaican authorities already questioned and obtained DNA and fingerprint samples from Pakistan's 24-man squad, which was allowed to leave the island on Saturday. "That process will continue for everybody else who was in the hotel at the same time" Woolmer was killed, Shields said, adding that police might travel abroad to collect samples and question people, including those in other Caribbean islands for the World Cup. He said it might not be necessary to call people back to Jamaica but did not rule it out. Woolmer, 58, was found dead in his hotel room on March 18. Police said he likely knew his killer or killers because there was no forced entry. They have not identified suspects. It wasn't immediately clear how many people were staying in the hotel when Woolmer was killed. Besides Pakistan's team, players from West Indies and Ireland also were guests, as well as dozens of fans and international journalists. "We're still trying to track down as many witnesses as we can," Shields said. "It's a huge task ... but we have to start from somewhere." Woolmer's death shocked the global cricket fraternity and cast a pall over the World Cup, being played in nine Caribbean countries to the end of April. Speculation within cricket over the killing has focused on everyone from crazed fans to a gambling mafia and disgruntled Pakistani team members. Shields said police were no closer to identifying a motive but that he would assign officers to an International Cricket Council probe into whether Woolmer's murder was linked to match-fixing. He said police were still reviewing closed-circuit video and Woolmer's laptop for clues.