KINGSTON, Jamaica – An attack on a pregnant Swedish woman so savage that her arms and legs were severed has stunned friends and neighbors and heightened Jamaica's reputation for violence.
Weeks after the slaying of 37-year-old Henrietta Jensen, who was three months pregnant when her body was found in the old planter's mansion where she lived with her fiance, police have questioned several people but do not have any suspects, Hanover parish police chief David Ebanks said Wednesday.
The victim's fiance, local businessman Andrew Marr, 37, said he discovered her body July 20 in the bedroom of their home on a 400-acre estate near the Caribbean island's western tip. Police took clothing and finger nail clippings from Marr for analysis but do not consider him a suspect, Ebanks said.
"I have been living in a nightmare world, since this horror unfolded," Marr said in a statement. "But I have been trying to cope and cooperating as best I can with the police."
A publicist hired by Marr to handle media queries in the case, Byron Balfour, said Marr was unavailable for an interview.
Police are also awaiting test results on clothing and nail clippings from the estate's gardener, who was reportedly the last person to see Jensen alive. Two other men who worked on the estate were detained for questioning and released, Ebanks said.
Jensen, a Denmark-born citizen of Sweden, moved here eight years ago and was seeking Jamaican citizenship ahead of a September wedding. Residents and tourism-industry workers who knew her described a friendly woman dedicated to her job as a travel manager.
"She seemed to be a very nice person, a very caring person," said Inise Lawrence, a manager at the Rockhouse Hotel in Negril who added that Jensen's death came as a shock. "When I heard about it I was like, 'Oh my God, no!"'
Will Cumberland of Asheville, North Carolina, who befriended Jensen while doing temporary work on the island, said she was kind to locals and foreigners alike and was looking forward to becoming a mother.
"She was quick to give out small jobs to folks that needed them, helped to support the local Jamaican economy with her business and enjoyed what she was doing," Cumberland said by e-mail.
An Australian tourist was killed weeks after Jensen in the same region, and some feared that tourism would suffer. More than 800 homicides have been committed so far this year in Jamaica, an island of 2.6 million people, but attacks on foreigners are relatively uncommon.
"It's putting a dark cloud over our tourism industry," Lawrence said. "A case where it's a tourist getting killed is not something that happens too recently, but one time is too much."
Investigators said the door to the couple's hillside home in the Green Island district had been kicked in. They ruled out robbery as a potential motive since Jensen was still wearing her engagement ring and U.S. currency was found in the house.
Marr, the son of a prominent sugar cane farmer and former senator, operates tourism-related businesses in western Jamaica. He has offered a US$15,000 reward for information leading to a conviction in the case.