Friday 29 May, 2020

Missing Jamaican woman in the US told friends ‘husband would kill her’

Court documents in the United States have revealed that missing Jamaican-born Andreen Nicole McDonald had warned friends that if she disappeared, it would be because her husband had killed her.

Authorities in Bexar County, Texas on Sunday charged the 29-year-old woman's husband, Air Force Major, Andre Sean McDonald, who is also Jamaican-born, with offences relating to the missing person case, according to US media reports.

His wife has been missing since Friday and is feared dead. Up to Monday night, her body was yet to be found.

Andre McDonald, 40, was booked on a charge of tampering with evidence because he tore up a receipt for the purchase of a shovel, an axe, gasoline and other material that investigators theorised he intended to use to dispose of his wife’s body.

McDonald was later booked into the Bexar County Jail, and his bail was set at US$2 million on Monday. His recently released arrest affidavit provided more details about what led investigators to suspect him.

According to the document, blood and hair were found in the master bathroom of McDonald's North Bexar County home by acquaintances of his wife who were looking for her after she did not show up to work on Friday, March 1.

The first witness said that the missing person (Andreen McDonald) told her many times if she ever went missing, it would be because the suspect killed her, the affidavit stated, according to US media reports.

Reports are that the two witnesses went and knocked at the McDonald residence on Friday. When they received no answer, the women went to an unlocked back door and entered the house, according to their statements to detectives.

The first witness said she and the second witness gained access to the residence through the back door, after no one answered their knock, wrote Deputy Mark Waits in McDonald's arrest affidavit.

Johnny Garcia, a spokesman for the Bexar County Sheriff's Office, said the women were "very close friends of Andreen McDonald," according to US media reports.

"They were tight-knit with each other," Garcia said, adding that, "They know her routine, and they are used to seeing her at certain places at certain times."

Inside the home, the two women found blood and hair on a light switch in the couple's master bathroom.

One of the women observed what she described as a fire on the ground, the affidavit stated. She said she saw a zipper in the fire.

The two women then left the residence. One of them drove to pick up Andreen McDonald's mother and bring her to the home, according to the affidavit.

Reports are that at some point, Andre McDonald returned to his house and spoke with at least one of the witnesses, but they were not able to get many answers out of him.

According to the affidavit, as the second witness returned to the home with Andreen McDonald's mother, they spotted Andre leaving the residence. Only then did they contact the Bexar County Sheriff's Office.

The two witnesses and Andreen McDonald's mother met with Deputy F Gonzalez at home on Solitude Cove at around 1:20 p.m. on Friday, March 1.

They reported Andreen's disappearance and said they suspected foul play. Andreen McDonald's mother led Deputy Gonzalez into the master bathroom and showed him the blood and hair.

He also noticed a burn pile in the backyard, and he found Andreen McDonald's purse, ID, keys and other personal belongings in the home.

Garcia said that despite the questionable legality of Andreen McDonald's friends entering her home, deputies followed proper procedure.

Deputies detained Andre McDonald for questioning. The affidavit said he told investigators that his wife was being treated at Baptist Emergency Hospital, but when authorities contacted the hospital, they were told she was not there.

McDonald then said he didn't know where she was, and he indicated that the two had been in an argument the night before.

According to the affidavit, McDonald declined to comment further and requested an attorney.

Bexar County records indicate that McDonald had filed for divorce from his wife in 2017, but later dropped the proceedings.

Authorities executed a search warrant at the home on Saturday, during which the blood found in the bathroom was found to be human. They also seized a Chevy Malibu vehicle that contained a small amount of presumed blood evidence, the affidavit disclosed.

The same day, investigators followed Andre McDonald as he visited Nagel's Gun Shop, where he bought a gun and ammunition.

According to the affidavit, another deputy then went to the Solitude Cove residence "to make sure it
was secure. Garcia said sheriff's office authorities were concerned for Andre's well-being, but when the deputy arrived, he found additional evidence.

"When he approached the residence, he could see inside of a Porche Macan and noticed a shovel that was not present during the previous search of the residence," the affidavit said. Deputies then secured a second search warrant.

The second warrant led to the discovery of two torn up receipts indicating that Andre McDonald had purchased a shovel, an axe, a hatchet, heavy-duty large plastic bags, gloves and two five-gallon gas cans.

Investigators found many of those items in the back of McDonald's Porch, and they also discovered heavy coveralls in a trash can.

Further, another fire pit that was not present during the previous search was found. Investigators determined it had been used to destroy papers and other items.

Based on the evidence collected during the execution of the search warrants, deputies arrested McDonald on the tampering with evidence charge and booked him into jail.

Andreen McDonald resided in Norwich, Portland, Jamaica before migrating to the United States. She is a past student of Norwich Primary and Titchfield High school in Portland, Jamaica.

McDonald, who had a six-year-old daughter and operated successful home care businesses, was last seen on Thursday, according to the Bexar County Sheriff's Office.

She operated Starlight Homes Assisted Living, which consists of two facilities providing personal care services for the elderly in the San Antonio area of Texas.

US media reports also revealed that investigators contacted family members in the Caribbean (Jamaica), who told them that Andreen McDonald was not there.

The FBI also said it had no evidence that she had left the country, the sheriff's office said.

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