Almost two weeks since Donna-Lee Donaldson went missing, the man she was last seen with, her boyfriend, Police Constable Noel Maitland, was arrested.
Maitland was the last person to see Donaldson alive at his New Kingston Chelsea Court apartment but remained free and on active duty despite the ongoing police investigation and massive protests by friends, family, and fans of the 876roomates reality show host.
On Wednesday, the Jamaica Constabulary Force announced that Maitland was taken into custody following a review of possible evidence by a battery of prosecutors. His baby mother, Kathanya Smith, who is also alleged to be involved, has not been arrested. Donna-Lee Donaldson has not been found, and she is presumed dead by family members and friends.
According to police, Maitland was taken into custody on Wednesday following an intense case review into the case.
The so-called marathon case review and arrest came after intense pressure and scrutiny on the JCF as protesters, and family members accused the police force of dragging its foot on the missing case and “covering up” for one of their own.
In the meantime, few details have been released to the public about Maitland’s arrest, which was done on Wednesday afternoon after the extensive case review session with the Director of Public Prosecutions, Paula Llewellyn.
The police had said two days ago that “significant progress” had been made in the investigation into the disappearance of the 24-year-old.
The woman was first reported missing on Wednesday, July 13, 2022.
According to the JCF, investigators had collected a considerable amount of information about her disappearance, which the DPP and senior prosecutors were convinced was enough evidence to commence the process of leading formal charges against Maitland.
Donaldson’s family has aired their sentiments on various media platforms as her mother says she fears her child might be dead and just wants her body to ensure her last rights.
In the meantime, Maitland, who is a police officer at the Constant Spring Police station in the St. Andrew North Police Division, is taken off duty following his arrest.
The mother of his child has also been removed from frontline duty. She has been summoned by the Independent Commission of Investigations, INDECOM, to give a statement into Donaldson’s disappearance.
Maitland, who has hired high-powered criminal law attorney-at-law, Christopher Townsend, has been named as a suspect since day one by protesters and family members. Several voice notes have also been released online, allegedly with Maitland speaking to a truck man who reportedly picked up a couch from his apartment the day after Donaldson was reported missing. It’s unclear if all of this was included in the evidence reviewed by prosecutors. The JCF high command had, however, said at a press conference that 20 hours of footage was taken from the complex, which was under review to see when Donaldson left the apartment.
Donna-Lee Donaldson’s body has yet to be found.