MANDEVILLE, Manchester — A manhunt is now on for 59-year-old Linton Stephenson, who the police believe can assist with their investigation into the murder of a woman in Manchester, whose body is yet to be identified.
Police reports are that lawmen were on patrol along the Winston Jones Highway, which is on the Marshall's Pen main road in Mandeville, after 1:00 am Tuesday, when they saw a Toyota Starlet motor car parked on the road with the front doors open.
Checks were made and the body of the woman was found in a cooler box on the back seat.
Police say the body was nude and had what appeared to be cuts to the back and front of the neck and face. The throat had also been slashed, the police say.
The scene was processed and the body removed to the morgue pending identification and post-mortem examination.
The body of the woman, who is believed to be in her late 20s to early 30s, is reportedly of dark complexion, slim build and about five-foot, six-inch tall.
The police say, based on information received, they went to Bloomsville Circle where Stephenson lived.
He was reportedly not seen, but the house was searched and red substance resembling blood was seen on several areas of the bathroom — where a knife, with what appeared to be blood, was found in the face basin — blood was seen on the walls, inside one of the bedrooms, and also on the stairs.
It is suspected that the unidentified woman was killed at the location and taken to where she was found.
Further investigations by the police led to the discovery that Stephenson, who also goes by the name Gary Stephenson and the alias “Jawbone”, has a history of violence.
He is listed as wanted by the police in a case of assault at common law and illegal possession of firearm. These crimes were committed in the Mandeville police area earlier this month.
Prior to that, police say that Stephenson was charged with murder, which was later reduced to manslaughter, for the killing of his wife, Claudette Nelson, 42, in 2006. She was a higgler from St Mary.
Police reports are that, during a domestic dispute, Stephenson, who was also a higgler at the time, used a machete to inflict several wounds all over Nelson's body, dug out her eyes, cut out her private part, and removed her intestines.
The police say that he was charged for the offence of murder, but later pleaded guilty to manslaughter and sentenced to 15 years at hard labour.
The offence of murder was reportedly reduced to manslaughter because he was found to be unfit to plea.
Stephenson is said to have been tried in the Home Circuit Court, transferred to the Supreme Court where he was sentenced in 2007, and spent time at the Tamarind Farm Prison in St Catherine before he was released on parole in 2016. The slated parole period was from September 16, 2016 to September 30, 2018.
According to police in Manchester, after his release he came to live at the property at Bloomsville Circle in Mandeville, the owner of which currently resides overseas.
It is uncertain what Stephenson's relationship is to the owner of the house.
He is known to have been a deacon at a church in Mandeville and worked as a wrecker driver.
The police are now seeking the public's assistance in locating Stephenson, as well as to identify the woman who was found dead on the highway.
Stephenson is believed to frequent Mandeville, Santa Cruz in St Elizabeth, and St Mary.