PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten – As requested by the Public Prosecution Office Sint Maarten, the court on Wednesday, June 5th, 2019, sentenced the main suspect in the MARS investigation Kathron Fortune to life in prison for manslaughter and murder.
The MARS investigation was started subsequent to a missing person report filed concerning two young men Sarante Diaz and Rosario Contreras. Both victims were last seen alive on December 5th, 2016.
As the investigation progressed, one of the suspects directed detectives to the location where the bodies were disposed. The investigation also revealed that the two victims were killed in a room at the Simpson Bay Resort. The bodies of the two victims were discovered in the Belair lagoon on August 1st, 2017.
Kathron Fortune is currently being detained in a maximum security prison in The Netherlands, as a result of escaping from the Point Blanche Prison on Sint Maarten in 2016. At that time he was serving a 21-year sentence for a murder he committed in 2005.
The court held him responsible for the manslaughter of one victim and the murder of the other victim, removal of their bodies and firearm possession. He was also found guilty for escaping the Point Blanche Prison in 2016. The court concluded that Kathron Fortune is a danger to society and a life sentence justified the severity of the crimes committed. He remains imprisoned in the Netherlands.
Co-defender and brother of Kathron Fortune, T.F. was sentenced to 30 years in prison for his role in the manslaughter and murder, removal of the bodies and firearm possession. In accordance with the Public Prosecution Office, the court found it proven that T.F. was an active accomplice. T.F. was found guilty of the planning and execution, removal of the victims’ bodies and for firearm possession.
The third suspect K.S. was sentenced to 8 years in prison. Also in accordance with the Public Prosecution Office, the court found it proven that K.S. was complicit in the manslaughter and murder in the Simpson Bay Resort hotel room and removal of the victims’ bodies.
The MARS investigation was carried out in close collaboration with the Sint Maarten Police Force (KPSM). Both parties are content with the outcome of this investigation, which spun over more than two years. This conviction safeguards the people of Sint Maarten from a dangerous man, a press release issued by the OM reads.