Minister of National Security and Legal Affairs, Rayburn Blackmoore, has disclosed that currently, three non-nationals and one Dominican are in police custody, aiding the ongoing investigation into the suspected homicide of resort owner Daniel Langlois and his partner, Dominique Marchand.
On December 1, 2023, police discovered the charred remains of two individuals in a vehicle at Gallion at about 7:00 a.m., believed to be those of French Canadians Langlois and Marchand, respected proprietors of the esteemed Coulibri Ridge Eco Resort, who have been reported as missing. The burnt vehicle discovered also aligns with the description of theirs police sources further revealed.
Unfortunately, extreme fire conditions rendered the bodies unidentifiable, compelling investigators to rely on circumstantial evidence linking them to the missing couple.
In the wake of the distressing homicide and arson Blackmoore, commended the Chief of Police and the investigative team for their prompt actions, which resulted in the detention of four individuals connected to the case.
“The officers from the Soufriere police station responded immediately and an investigative team headed by the Chief of Police made its way to the scene where an intensive investigation began,” he stated. “Thus far, there are four people of interest, three non-nationals and one national in police custody.”
Understanding the gravity of the situation, the security minister revealed that he swiftly initiated contact with the Canadian High Commissioner to convey the Commonwealth of Dominica’s sincere regret and assurance of the nation’s unwavering commitment to resolving this crime. Official requests for investigative support from Canadian authorities have been formally made, aligning with Dominica’s pursuit of justice in this matter he noted.
Addressing the severity of the crime, he remarked, “This type of terrible crime and the brutality in this crime is something we can’t ignore and we cannot allow those responsible to go unpunished.”
Blackmoore continued, “The government will provide the police force with all the resources needed to investigate this matter and to bring the perpetrators of this terrible crime to justice. Crimes like these do not only hurt international relations but this crime in particular has sent shockwave throughout the island and left the employees, family and community of the victims in mourning.”
Acknowledging the profound impact on the community and the island at large, Blackmoore underscored the need for confidentiality and assured transparency as the investigation progresses.
“While the investigation of this magnitude is being undertaken, there is the need to ensure as much as possible the highest degree of confidentiality. Given the nature of this crime and the impact on the community and the whole island this warrants that the public be kept abreast as much as possible. We therefore promise to give an update as this case evolves,” he assured the nation.
Meanwhile, Parliamentary Representative in the Soufriere constituency, Denise Charles-Pemberton says the constituents stand in mourning as the community reels from the devastating loss of Langlois and Marchand.
In an emotional statement to State-owned DBS radio, Charles expressed her profound grief and highlighted the immense impact the couple had on the constituency’s development.
“These last few days have been incredibly heavy for our constituency. To lose two members of our community, who have been at the heart of its development and its sense of spirit and togetherness is something that we have struggled to put into words.”
She continued, “Daniel and Dominique may be known for their world-renowned eco-resort in the village but to the people of the Soufriere constituency and to me, they were kind, loving and truly community oriented.”
The couple’s commitment to Soufriere’s growth was profound, Charles revealed especially in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.
“They loved the people of our constituency dearly and had great plans in place for its development. I remember after Hurricane Maria devastated us, I called a meeting and invited every group, council and developer to put a plan forward for rebuilding. Daniel and Dominique remained committed, offering help whenever approached, especially supporting conservation and sustainability projects,” the Soufriere MP recalled.
The couple’s initiative, REZDM, played a pivotal role in funding the reconstruction of the Soufriere Primary School and Scotts Head Jetty, showcasing their unwavering dedication to community development.
“Last Thursday, we had agreed to meet early this week to go over some community projects set to commence next year. The vision we shared was monumental. Aside from losing two people of such character, it is incredibly painful to know that they will not be around to see that vision come to fruition.”
In reflecting on the couple’s character, Charles emphasized their actions spoke louder than words.
“In life, you meet people who are talkers, and those who are doers. People who do things to seek fame or recognition, and people who actually care. Daniel and Dominique cared.”
Asserting that the tragic incident doesn’t reflect the constituency’s way of life, the tourism minister reassured the public of Soufriere’s safety and community spirit.
“This was not a random act of violence. Our community is safe and secure., our people are warm and friendly and we loved the couple. They were snatched from us way too soon and we are left to feel the pain of that loss.”
Expressing gratitude for the swift action of law enforcement in apprehending suspects, Charles voiced a heartfelt plea for justice and pledged to honour the couple’s memory within the constituency.
Urging the nation to embrace love and peace, Charles concluded with a plea for unity. “Let’s be our neighbours’ keepers, dwell in peace and love. Love and peace are the only things that will prosper us,” she emphasized, extending her deepest condolences to their families, friends, and all impacted by their irreplaceable presence.
“I am making a plea to all, let’s be our neighbours’ keepers, let’s dwell in peace and love. This is all God asks of us, to love him and love our neighbour as ourselves. Anger, jealousy and hatred have no place in our small community. Love and peace are the only things that will prosper us.”
“Rest in eternal peace, Daniel and Dominique. We love you,” Charles concluded, encapsulating the collective sentiment of a community in mourning for two cherished souls.
As the investigation unfolds, Dominica News Online (DNO) remains committed to tracking this story and will report any new developments as soon as they become available.