U.S. officials on Monday confirmed the death of an Atlanta woman on the Caribbean island of Grenada, amid various media reports that she was murdered while walking on the beach with her husband.
British media reports indicated Jessica Lewis Colker, 39, was attacked with a cutlass-style sword Sunday on La Sagesse Beach in the town of St. David. Her husband, 62-year-old Brian Melito, reportedly escaped the attack.
A spokeswoman for the U.S. Embassy to Barbados, the Eastern Caribbean and the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States confirmed to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that Colker “was vacationing in Grenada when she died” but did not provide further information.
“The embassy is working closely with officials investigating Ms. Colker’s death, and asks that her family’s privacy be respected during this difficult time,” the embassy’s statement said.
Attempts to contact the Royal Grenada Police Force were not successful Monday afternoon. A local TV station reported that a suspect in Colker’s death was in custody.
According to the Georgia Composite Medical Board, Colker was a physician’s assistant who worked with anesthesiologists at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. Her husband is also a physician.
“Jessica was a valued member of our Children’s team,” hospital spokeswoman Julie Holkeboer said. “We are deeply saddened by this horrific news. Our thoughts and prayers go out to her family during this very difficult time.”
According to online records, the couple lived near Atlanta’s Candler Park neighborhood. An online wedding registry said they married in 2014 after meeting in Costa Rica.