Antiguan police arrest man suspected in fatal stabbing of California woman during cruise visit

By Anika Kentish, AP
Sunday, January 31, 2010

Antiguan police make arrest in US woman’s slaying

ST. JOHN’S, Antigua — A 24-year-old man from Dominica has been arrested as a suspect in the killing of a San Francisco woman during a cruise stopover to celebrate her sister’s wedding, police said Sunday.

Suspect Tishara Daniel confessed to the Jan. 19 fatal stabbing of Nina Nilssen, police Superintendent Nuffield Burnette alleged.

Daniel allegedly was carrying Nilssen’s camera when he was arrested Friday near the crime scene in the affluent English Harbor boating community, which has become a target of the Caribbean island’s crime wave. Daniel frequently fished in the area, Burnette said.

Assistant Police Commissioner Jacques Ouellette said detectives also have “what is believed to be the weapon” that killed the 29-year-old woman. He did not elaborate.

Daniel is scheduled for a court hearing Monday. It was not known if he had a lawyer. An unemployed man with no prior police record, Daniel is from Dominica but moved to Antigua when he was a teenager, police said.

Nilssen was attacked after apparently wandering off alone following a beach barbecue with friends and relatives. An autopsy found the San Francisco State University graduate student died from a single stab wound to the neck, Antigua’s coroner said.

The victim’s body was found less than a mile (kilometer) from where an Australian yacht captain was slain nearly a year ago. He and his girlfriend were accosted in a dockyard area near English Harbor.

The twin-island nation of Antigua and Barbuda has been struggling with crime in recent years, including the July 2008 shooting of British honeymooners Catherine and Benjamin Mullany in their cottage at a beachside resort.

Violent crime rarely affects foreigners in the Caribbean, where an estimated 6 million Americans visit annually. But it does happen: Pregnant American tourist Sara Kuszak was raped and killed while jogging in Puerto Rico last February.

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