The Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force (RSCNPF) has denied trying to cover up the now “undetermined” cause of death in the case of 23-year-old Shaquille Pemberton.

Pemberton’s corpse was found in an area near the RLB International Airport by a passer-by who reported it to the St. Kitts and Nevis Fire and Rescue Services, who then reported it to the Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police.

On the night of the discovery Police indicated that they were not treating the matter as a homicide. Over the weekend in a release from the Police confirmed that the death of Pemberton was by natural causes following an autopsy done by Forensic Pathologist, Dr. Valery Alexandrov.

The release stated that, Dr. Alexandrov ruled that the death was due to acute pulmonary failure due to haemorrhagic viral myocarditis and pneumonia.

Police issued a second release on the autopsy stating that since undertaking further laboratory tests in Trinidad, Dr. Alexandrov has now revised his opinion and ruled that the method of death is undetermined.

Since then there have been claims indicating the police may have been covering up the cause of death which they have vehemently denied in a recent statement. “The High Command of the RSCNPF places on record that there has been no cover-up – and there shall be none – in the Force’s investigation into the death of 23-year-old Shaquille Pemberton of New Road, whose body was discovered in the Gillards Meadows area on January 27, 2018.”

The RSCNPF added that they holds its rank and file to the highest levels of integrity, transparency and professionalism in every single investigation and free from political directives and outside influences. ”The behaviour and decision-making of all of our brave, hardworking men and women in uniform are guided by our oath to protect and serve the people of this Federation and uphold the Constitution and Rule of Law.”

The statement also noted that they were guided by the professional expertise. “In this particular case involving the death of Shaquille Pemberton, the RSCNPF engaged the professional services of a highly respected and qualified forensic pathologist with over 40 years’ experience working around the world.

“Indeed, for close to four years now, since June 2014, this forensic pathologist has been consistently relied upon to perform autopsies here in St. Kitts and Nevis. The RSCNPF awaits his final report, and the High Command remains committed to sharing the findings with the media and the public,” the police stated

The police also stated that it was unscrupulous for members of the public to use the situation to cast doubt on the integrity of the police force.

“The RSCNPF finds it extremely unfortunate that a few misguided members of our society are using the police investigation into the tragic, untimely death of Shaquille Pemberton as an avenue to cast aspersions and doubt on the integrity and honour of our Police Force. Rather than sowing discord and dissension by preying on his family’s pain, we implore you to give them the privacy and compassion that they deserve during this very difficult time.”

Police officials also called on the public to assist the police in solving crime across the board.

“The RSCNPF takes this opportunity to remind and encourage the public to do its part in assisting the Police Force in its investigations, whether in this or any other case. If you have information that can shed light on and advance our investigations, please contact the Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force today. Choosing to act can save lives, prevent crimes, and bring justice for victims and their families.”