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Monday
Sep242012

St. Maarten Grills Suspect in South Carolina Couple's Killing

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(CHARLESTON, S.C.) -- A couple from South Carolina killed in St. Maarten last week may have been the target of a robbery, St. Maarten officials said today.

Michael and Thelma King, of Mt. Pleasant, S.C., were at their beach front condominium in St. Maarten when they were brutally attacked Friday. The Kings both suffered fatal stab wounds, and Thelma King was found tied to a chair, according to St. Maarten police.

A male suspect was arrested around 4 a.m. on Saturday, St. Maarten prosecutor Taco Stein told ABC News today. He is being questioned ahead of a scheduled arraignment on Tuesday.

Stein said that items were missing from the Kings' home, indicating that the murder may have been part of a robbery.

Stein did not rule out the possibility that more than one person was involved in the murders.

"That's hard to say at this moment. It's not being excluded but it is very early in the investigation. A lot of leads must be followed before we can say anything more on that matter," Stein told ABC News affiliate WCIV.

Police are still investigating possible motives, but said there was no evidence to indicate the Kings were involved in any illegal or illicit activity that would have led to their murder.

The Kings had business interests on the island and had been traveling more frequently to the island in recent months, Stein told WCIV. Friends told the news station that Michael King had been planning to start a rum business on the Dutch Caribbean island.

The couple also owned businesses in Columbia, S.C., WCIV reported.

St. Maarten prosecutors have three days after an arrest to present enough evidence to a judge to keep a suspect imprisoned without formal charges. They will present that evidence in court on Tuesday.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio