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Charlotte Amalie
Tuesday, May 21, 2024


V.I. police have identified the dead man found in a field Friday morning as 23-year-old Crispin LaFranque.
LaFranque, of Anna’s Retreat, was found dead in a U.S. Department of Agriculture field in the Bethlehem area Friday morning. Police, however, couldn’t immediately identify the corpse. According to police officials, after announcing the discovery of the body calls began coming in, including one from LaFranque’s mother who later identified her son.
Police said LaFranque was shot by the owner of Red’s Bar in Estate Profit around 10 a.m. Wednesday after he attempted to rob the business. The bar owner contacted police after the incident to report that he may have wounded a would-be robber.
About an hour later, police received a call of a man down in the Bethlehem area but upon investigation found only bloody clothing. LaFranque’s body was found early Friday in an open field.
The death has been listed as a homicide, but as of Monday morning it was unclear whether charges would be brought against the bar owner.
The killing was the third on St. Croix last week. On Tuesday afternoon, Mannix Phillips, 33, of Mon Bijou was shot and killed when he intervened in a dispute between two brothers at the Aureo Diaz Heights housing community.
On Thursday, Vincent Lawrence, 19, was killed by a .38 caliber gunshot wound to the head following an argument over a marijuana plant in the Peppertree Terrace neighborhood. Police have charged suspects with first-degree murder in both incidents. Phillips and Lawrence’s deaths were the 13th and 14th murders this year in the territory. There have been six killings on St. Croix and eight in the St. Thomas-St. John district.

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