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Sunday, 10 July 2005  
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Royal Park murder :

Court orders DNA test on suspect

Crime Sunday by Jaympathy Jayasinghe

The murder of young Yvonne Johnson (19) at the luxurious Royal Park Condominium at Rajagiriya last Saturday was the most savage killing reported just outside Colombo limits. It sent shock waves not only among her friends but also among other wealthy teenagers who routinely patronise star class night spots in Colombo. The episode dwells on the human side of drama. Obviously the essence of glamour, elegance attracts wealthy young persons to night spots. But it also offers a glimpse into the world of hatred.

Meanwhile nobody in her family ever expected a young girl in the prime of youth to be battered and strangled to death outside her apartment. The incident happened on the 19th floor of the apartment around 2 a.m. when everyone was fast asleep. The incident triggered a chain of events which ultimately led to the arrest of the suspect. He was arrested by CID officers at his residence at Bagatale Road.

It was the Welikade police that visited the Royal Park condominium on hearing of the murder in the wee hours of the morning. They found the body of Yvonne lying near the escalator on the 19th floor. Several thoughts crossed the minds of police officers including OIC Crimes Inspector Jayasinghe who visited the scene of murder. Who could have possibly killed her and what was the motive behind killing, they pondered. The killer however had disappeared after committing the dastardly act past mid night.

The police were appalled to see her neck wrapped with her own trousers that she wore on that day. Ostensibly the alleged killer may have forcibly removed her trousers and strangled her to death. The finger print experts who visited the 19th apartment found two blood stained finger prints on the bar of the stair case. But it is not known whose finger prints they are. The finger prints experts are expected to file a report in Courts shortly about the findings.

Meanwhile the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Chandra Fernando deployed the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) to investigate the gruesome killing. A special team of investigators were detailed by DIG (CID), Lionel Gunatilleke and Director (CID) SSP Sisira Mendis with Superintendent A. Galgamuwa in charge.

Last Friday Yvonne and her younger sister were looking forward to attend a school party in Colombo. In fact Yvonne had returned to Sri Lanka a few days earlier after being abroad for some time. On the day of the incident Yvonne and her sister had attended the school function in Colombo.

They drove their own car that day. After the function both of them drove in to Bagatale road Kollupitiya to pick up a friend. The friend was none other than Yvonne's former boy friend. But they were no more lovers. Over some disagreement Yvonne had broken off the affair. But her younger sister continued to have a close relationship with him.

The young man had been attending the same international school with Yvonne. After picking him up, the three of them had driven to a night club at Hunupitiya, Gangarama. According to police, the boy is said to have consumed liquor at this spot. Thereafter the three of them had visited another night club at Kollupitiya before returning to a five start hotel in Colombo.

At the five star hotel the young man is said to have consumed more liquor. His keys and credit cards were with his girl friend. She in turn had put them inside Yvonne's bag. A trivial incident which occurred at the hotel had enraged him. While he was seated with Yvonne's sister, a passer-by had greeted her innocently. This enraged him and had started quarrel with her.

Thereafter both of them returned to Royal Park apartment in a hired cab. Yvonne stayed back at the hotel and returned later to the Royal Park around 2.30 a.m. The young man was still lurking around outside the 23rd floor of apartment. As Yvonne stepped outside the elevator, he approached her and demanded his keys and the credit cards from her. After a heated argument, the young man snatched the bag from her and ran down the stair case followed by her. She caught him up at the 19th floor.

Whilst trying to grab her hand bag from him a struggle took place. The young man is said to have bashed Yvonne's head against the wall. After she dropped on the floor he allegedly removed her trousers and strangled her to death.

The suspect was produced in Court and was remanded till investigations are completed. The Court had ordered the CID to conduct DNA testing on the suspect.

ANCL TENDER- Platesetter of Relief Rehabilitation & Reconciliation)

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