Speculation is rife as residents debate whether Nicholas Santana, a purported citizen of Antigua and Barbuda, is still in St. Kitts and Nevis after he escaped from a detention centre there about two weeks ago.
The 53-year-old fugitive was one of nine persons who escaped custody at the St. Peter’s Community Centre, having been held in the Federation since their rescue at sea on March 28.
The majority of the escapees were said to be Cameroonians, and four of them were found the following morning, April 27. Of the five remained who remained at large, four were eventually recaptured.
Santana reportedly is the only one still on the run, and the police are said to be still searching for him.
However, here in Antigua, some residents are suggesting that he has either made it to another Caribbean destination, or has found himself back on island and is keeping a low profile.
Santana and another Antiguan were among 14 Cameroonians rescued alive by the St. Kitts Coast Guard after the boat they were travelling on capsized and sank between Antigua and St. Kitts.
It alleged that the Africans were being transported to St. Thomas in the US Virgin Islands. There were 17 people recovered, but three (two males and a female) were dead. Autopsies have confirmed that they died as a result of drowning.
Those rescued were transported to St. Kitts; provided with medical and psychological care; and detained at the government facility pending repatriation to Antigua and Barbuda – but this offer has since been rescinded by the Browne Administration.
Meanwhile, St. Christopher and Nevis Police Commissioner James Sutton has confirmed that investigations into the incident are ongoing.