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The American daughter-in-law of a British billionaire was being held in custody in Belize on Friday in connection with the death of a high-ranking local police official, according to reports.
Jasmine Hartin, who is married to the son of businessman Lord Michael Ashcroft, was socializing with Superintendent Henry Jemmott before he was found dead of a bullet to the head Thursday, The Daily Beast reported.
The two were out on a pier in San Pedro at 12:30 a.m. on Friday — past the area’s COVID-19 curfew — when a single gunshot rang out, Police Commissioner Chester Williams said at a news conference, according to Belize’s Channel 5 news.
“Upon investigating, police found the female on a pier and she had what appeared to be blood on her arms and on her clothing,” Williams told reporters.
Jemmott’s body was found floating in the waters near the pier. The weapon used was Jemmott’s service gun, which was recovered at the scene, the commissioner said.
Hartin was taken in for questioning. She initially did not cooperate with interrogators, but has since hired the former attorney general of Belize to represent her, the article said.
She has not been charged with a crime, and police are still unsure if Jemmott died of murder, suicide or an accidental shooting, according to the report.
Hartin, a US national, reportedly lives in Belize with her husband Andrew Ashcroft, whose father once served as Belize’s ambassador to the United Nations and was the former deputy chairman of the UK’s Conservative Party, according to The Daily Beast.
Her LinkedIn profile says she is the director of lifestyle and experience at the Alaia Belize resort, which recently opened.
Williams said the investigation will not be comprised by high-powered political pressure.
“I can emphatically state that I have not received any calls from anybody above me directing that we deal with the matter in one way or the other,” Williams said, according to the local station.
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