Homicide suspect Elwood James returned to St. Thomas Thursday, extradited from Florida after spending half his life on the run.
James was extradited by detectives of the Major Crimes Investigation Bureau on St. Thomas. James had eluded police since Dec. 15, 1993, when he was positively identified as the suspect in the murder of 20-year-old Alex Parsons, who was shot to death in Paul M. Pearson Gardens.
According to a news release from the V.I. Police Department, witnesses saw James arguing with Parsons and later heard several gunshots. Witnesses also reported that James got into a red vehicle and fled the area. Parson was shot several times and taken to the Roy L. Schneider Regional Medical Center, where he later died from his injuries.
Police said shortly after the murder, James fled the island with the assistance of his family. He was 17 at the time.
Information regarding the murder, including James being named as the suspect, was entered into the database at the National Crime Information Center. James recently was detained by Florida police for a traffic violation. Upon checking James’ background, police discovered he was wanted for murder and contacted the V.I. Police Department.
James arrived at the Cyril E. King Airport at about 4 p.m. Thursday escorted by VIPD detectives. He was charged with first-degree murder and possession of an unlicensed firearm during the commission of a crime of violence and will appear at his advice of rights hearing on Friday.
Assistant Police Commissioner Raymond L. Hyndman remarked on the arrest, “I’m sure the victim’s family will feel a sense of relief that justice will finally take its course. Further, this should send a strong message to those who commit crime in the territory that the police department will pursue them until they are caught."