The Jamaica Constabulary Force has named a male suspect in the death of popular social media influencer Aneka ‘Slickianna’ Townsend, whose body was found floating at a beach in St. James on Friday.
The man has been identified as Rushane Patterson, a resident of Hanover. A release by police says Patterson is from the community of Prosper in Hanover. “We have Rushane Patterson of Prosper, Hanover as a person of interest in this investigation and we are asking him to turn himself in to the police by 5:00 pm,” commander of the St James Police Division, Senior Superintendent of Police Vernon Ellis, said to journalists on Saturday.
The suspect is asked to report to Montego Bay’s Freeport Police Station by 5:00 pm on October 22, 2022. The senior cop has not disclosed details about the investigation but revealed that police have been working diligently to solve the crime, and after several police operations conducted in Hanover, a motor vehicle has been recovered.
In the meantime, while many persons, including some friends and people that know her personally, have compared the tattoos that Townsend had with the ones seen on the body of the woman found floating on the beach, police say that her family members, including her mother, identified the influencer and businesswoman on Saturday at the morgue.
“No one has come forward to identify her as yet, but we have an idea of who she is. We are just awaiting the formal identification,” the senior cop said.
Meanwhile, there are speculations that Patterson is no stranger to the law. Passionate anti-violence advocates online have dug up news reports that suggest that Rushane Patterson is the same person who has been charged in two previous cases where victims were raped and murdered.
The two incidents stem back to a St. Andrew 2013 incident in which Patterson was freed in 2017 and another which appears to be active in the courts and was committed in Westmoreland.
In the current case, Patterson, who is accused of murder and rape, was rearrested in May 2022 after absconding bail. Patterson is described as 33 years old in this case, and reports say that he is on trial for murder, attempted murder, and rape. It’s unclear the details of this case.
In the 2013 case, Patterson, who was accused of murder and rape, was freed after the chief witness did not show up in court.
Archived news reports from the Jamaica Gleaner said that Patterson had abducted and raped a woman and killed her partner.
In 2017, Patterson, then 28 years old, was successful in getting the case thrown out after the witness failed to turn up. Prosecutors claimed that the rape victim and her partner Andre Roberts were walking along Cargill Avenue in St. Andrew around 4 am when they were accosted by men in a motor vehicle.
Roberts, who was placed in the trunk of the car, was killed after attempting to escape from the moving vehicle while the woman was taken to another location where she was raped before her throat was slashed. The victim eventually survived and reported the incident to the police.
At the time, he was represented by attorney Hugh Wildman. Despite the judge giving the prosecution time to locate the witness, their efforts were unsuccessful, and the case was eventually thrown out.
In the meantime, social media users have been collaborating to share whatever information they know about the influencer’s last whereabouts. On Friday evening, a video surfaced showing the woman at a Knutsford Express in Montego Bay. It was later revealed that surveillance footage allegedly showed that the mother of one was picked up by a blue car. She was also allegedly spotted at Margaritaville in Montego Bay the night before her killing.
Some social media users have also taken stock of several comments and responses by both the influencer and an account said to belong to Patterson, which suggests that they knew each other. In a post shared recently, the influencer wrote, “my man really got himself a baddie with a dope soul, I love this for him.”
An Instagram account said to be Patterson’s commented “Slick” with the tongue emoji, which also showed the Influencer responding with a heart emoji.