An emotional Emrick Seymour, Senior Assistant Commissioner of Police, speaks to the media at the scene where Cpl Munnings’ (inset) body was found. Photo: Vandyke Hepburn/BIS
By DENISE MAYCOCK
Tribune Freeport Reporter
THE body of a missing Grand Bahama police officer was discovered on Thursday afternoon in the area of the North Star Resort on Fortune Bay Drive, Freeport, leaving police officers and family members devastated.
Corporal Jamal Freddie Munnings, 33, of West Pioneers Way, was found dead around midday in bushes off the quiet, upscale subdivision of Fortune Bay. The husband and father had been missing since Tuesday and was last seen driving his Nissan Frontier Truck. Concerns were raised after he failed to report to work at 8.30am that day.
The police said they are determined to find out what happened to the officer, who was attached to the Fire Branch and had been with the force for 11 years.
Senior Assistant Commissioner of Police Emrick Seymour, officer in charge of the Grand Bahama District, said that Cpl Munning's truck was initially discovered in a canal, and his body was found some distance away a short time later.
It was not the kind of outcome they had expected, he said.
When asked whether there were any signs of injury to the body, ACP Seymour said it was still very early to determine at that stage but did add that the officer was not in police uniform and was wearing civilian clothing at the time of his death.
“Our search ended around midday when we discovered the officer’s truck in the canal just behind me, and shortly thereafter we discovered his body. We are all distraught," he told reporters at the scene. “We don’t know the circumstances of the death and how he came by his demise and so the investigation is underway to make that determination."
An emotional ACP Seymour described Cpl Munnings as a very “industrious” officer, who was married and had a young daughter. “I am full of emotions. I remember when he was promoted two years ago. He was an industrious, hardworking and determined young officer.
“He was filled with gratitude when he was promoted and he never missed a time when he came to headquarters to pay me a compliment and to say how grateful he was, and that’s why it is so hard for me personally.
“All of us are taking it very hard because none of us expected this; none of us expected this ending. I was hopeful even to the very end when we discovered the vehicle and the body was not in the vehicle; we were still holding on to hope he was still alive. It is a very sad day for us in police force,” Mr Seymour said.
In May 2014, businessman Cedric Hepburn, 40, was gunned down in the area of the North Star Resort. Mr Hepburn was out on his routine walk when he was shot multiple times and died at the scene. His murder remains unsolved.