Is James Hill in the Cayman Islands? US Cold Case revamped
A report in The Laconia Daily Sun by Michael Ketch, doesn’t rule out the possibility.
The Laconia Daily Sun article published on March 13, revamped a nineteen-year-old cold case in which it is alleged that Hill set fire to a home in Belknap County, New Hampshire and fled the state, a year later in 1999.
The story comes to the forefront again after, the U.S. Marshals Service named Hill their “Fugitive of the Week" and requested the public assistance in capturing Hill – who hasn’t been seen or heard from since 1999.
The search to find Hill began after it is alleged that he set fire to the empty home of his then ex-girlfriend on December 1997.
Sgt. Bill Wright of the Belknap County Sheriff's Department said that before the warrant for Hill’s arrest was issued in 1997, Hill along with an associate headed south to Florida.
In Florida, it is believed that Hill frequented Marinas and took odd jobs; at one point Hill is said to have worked as a carpenter and later a handyman.
During his time in Florida, Hill was suspected of stealing a yacht valued at $150,000, USD.
“The yacht was recovered run ashore near Key Largo. Although there was no sign of Hill, his identification and belongings were found on board,” read the report cited in the Laconia Daily Sun
“After a search and investigation by the United States Coast Guard and local law enforcement agencies found no trace of Hill, he was presumed lost at sea and declared dead,” added the Sun’s article.
The article went on to recount another incident in which it appears that Hill staged his own death.
Hill’s identification were found in a stolen vehicle that went into a river after crashing on a bridge, while a death certificate was initially issued it was later rescinded.
However, US Police authorities, believe that Hill may still be alive and suspect that he may be living under a new identity somewhere in the Caribbean.
Why the Cayman Islands out of the many Islands in the region?
In Ketch’s article, it is revealed during Hill’s time in South Florida, Hill reportedly sought information about travelling to the Cayman Islands.
Ketch’s report further revealed that one of Hill’s family members, who spoke to law enforcement authorities, noted that he was, “Infatuated" with the Caribbean islands, particularly those without extradition treaties with the United States.”
"We've tried to reinvigorate the case every couple of years," said Sgt.Wright to The Laconia Daily Sun who further added that had received scores of leads when Hill was featured on America's Most Wanted in November 2009.
Hill is described as 6 feet tall, weighing about 200 pounds with brown hair and hazel eyes.
It should be noted that there exists a treaty on extradition between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, signed in 1972.
This treaty applies to all British Overseas territories, including the Cayman Islands.