No suspects identified in Woolmer murder probe

DETECTIVES probing the murder of cricket coach Bob Woolmer said investigators were nowhere near identifying suspects as Pakistan’s shell shocked team prepared to head home yesterday.

Deputy police commissioner Mark Shields said reports suggesting detectives were focusing attention on three Pakistani fans who left Jamaica soon after Woolmer’s murder were premature.

‘‘The reality as I’ve said before is that there are many potential suspects and even more potential witnesses, and we are nowhere near the stage of being able to start naming names in terms of suspects,’’ Shields said.

Woolmer’s naked body was found in his room at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in Kingston on March 18, one day after Pakistan had been sensationally dumped out of the Cricket World Cup after a shock defeat to Ireland.

The 58-year-old former England international’s killing has been linked to match-fixing although Shields has repeatedly stressed investigators are keeping all lines of enquiry open.

Detectives are hoping to find clues from the hard drive of Woolmer’s laptop computer and are poring over hours of grainy security camera footage taken at the Pegasus Hotel.

But Shields warned the murder investigation was not going to be solved ‘‘in 45 minutes,’’ describing the inquiry as a slow, arduous process.

‘‘We are going to do it properly, thoroughly and professionally and at the end of it, it may be that we might identify a suspect,’’ he said.

‘‘It really is down to the painstaking work of trying to sift through as much information as we can to try and track down the killer or killers.’’

Police have said it is likely Woolmer knew his murderer, noting there was no sign of a forced entry to his hotel room and that nothing appeared to have been stolen.

Shields said police wanted to take DNA samples from anyone who was at the hotel at the time of the killing, and that investigators might travel to other Caribbean islands to interview cricketers, officials and spectators.

He also said he did not ‘‘feel any frustration’’ at having allowed the Pakistani team to leave the island on Saturday.

The Pakistanis were questioned by police and gave DNA and fingerprints. Shields said there were no grounds to have prevented them from leaving Jamaica.

The players, said to be devastated at Woolmer’s death, have made little or no comment during their London stay.

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