Ex-Politician Charged with Murder a Month After Autopsy Reveals Wife, Initially Said to Have Died in Her Sleep, Was ‘Shot at Least Three Times’

An ex-Parliament member in Jamaica was arrested on Thursday, Jan. 18, months after the mysterious death of his spouse.

Jolyan Silvera, formerly of the People’s National Party, was taken into custody and set to be interrogated as a suspect, authorities told local media. He has been charged with murder.

Law Enforcement Said Melissa Silvera's Body Had Gunshot Wounds
After her death, it was reported that Melissa Silvera died in her sleep. Now, police are saying she was shot multiple times. (Kamla Forbes/Facebook screenshot)

“This significant development is a testament to the dedication of the JCF in serving the public and upholding the principles of being a force for good,” Deputy Police Commissioner of Crime and Portfolio Fitz Bailey said, per the Jamaica Star.

His wife, Melissa, died on Nov. 10, and it was initially reported that she passed away in her sleep. However, an autopsy revealed that she was shot at least three times. The 40-year-old also has injuries to her lower abdomen and leg.

After the news went public last month, Silvera’s attorney urged people not to jump to conclusions because his client was not considered a suspect at the time.

“While I appreciate the need for transparency in so far as the public’s interest is concerned in this most unfortunate situation, I would urge caution upon those who would want to go beyond the boundaries of facts on social media,” Peter Champagnie said. “One must be sensitive to all the circumstances, particularly as they relate to the young children of the family. The police investigation must be allowed to proceed without any prejudice to anyone.”

Melissa’s funeral was last week at the St Andrew Parish Church. She and her husband officially tied the knot in 2015. Silvera promised to hold “the flame of your love, ensuring that your legacy flourishes in the hearts of our sons and the countless lives you’ve touched” in a message read by his mother at the service, per the Star.

Bailey added that officials are “satisfied … that there is sufficient evidence to mount a viable prosecution,” according to The Associated Press.

The police sergeant who responded to the couple’s Stony Hill, St. Andrew’s residence came under fire for going to the scene alone. Sources told the Jamaica Gleaner that he claimed he did not notice any blood but ordered an autopsy for confirmation.

Ex-Politician Charged with Murder a Month After Autopsy Reveals Wife, Initially Said to Have Died in Her Sleep, Was ‘Shot at Least Three Times’