Swimming champion’s partner who found her dead at their home in the Virgin Islands is notorious local ‘bad boy’ once jailed for deadly assault on a US tourist
Island authorities launched a criminal investigation into the death of former US National Team swimmer Jamie Cail, 42, who was found unresponsive at home on February 21 at around midnight Kamal Thomas
Kamal Thomas was jailed for 10 years for 2007 assault where a Pennsylvania tourist was ‘beaten to death with a pool cue’
Kamal Thomas, 34, was charged in connection with the death of James Cockayne, 21, a tourist on St John Island
He fought unsuccessfully, against his charges in court after his initial conviction was quashed – but he was ultimately convicted along with his accomplices
Cockayne’s family warned that Cail’s family will have to step up their own investigation, because ‘If they want justice, they’re gonna need to fight for it’
The boyfriend of a US swimming star found dead at their home on the Virgin Islands was jailed for ten years after a violent brawl in 2007, according to sources.
Jamie Cail, 42, was found unresponsive on February 21 at around midnight, inside the home she shared with her boyfriend in St John. Authorities on the Island since launched a criminal investigation into her death.
The Virgin Islands Police Department said a clinic in St. John notified of the death, shortly after 2:30 a.m. on Tuesday.
In a statement, VIPD said: ‘On Tuesday, February 21, 2023, at approximately 2:39 a.m., detectives were notified of a dead on arrival (D.O.A) case at the Myrah Keating-Smith Clinic on St. John.
‘On Tuesday, February 21, 2023, a male reported he arrived at his residence where he discovered his girlfriend on the floor.
‘With the assistance from a friend, the female was transported to the Myrah Keating-Smith Clinic, where hospital staff indicated the female was in cardiac arrest. Hospital staff rendered CPR but, the female succumbed.
‘The female was identified by her boyfriend as 42-year-old, Ms. Jamie Cail from New Hampshire. An autopsy is pending to determine the cause of death.
‘This case is presently under investigation by the Criminal Investigation Bureau.’
Cail’s boyfriend is Kamal Thomas, 34, who discovered her at their home after returning home from a local bar.
Records show that Kamal Thomas spent years fighting against serious charges after he and three other men attacked a tourist on the Island, James Cockayne, hours before his death.
Thomas was accused of attacking Cockayne, 21, and was initially convicted of two counts of third-degree assault and associated weapons charges. But his conviction was quashed in 2008 after it was revealed that prosecutors failed to turn over a key piece of evidence for the trial.
Thomas was then convicted of third-degree assault, simple assault, weapons charges and threatening a witness following a second trial in 2010.
His co-accused Anselmo Boston, was found guilty of the same charges, while Jamil Ward was convicted of second-degree murder, assault and weapons charges.
Thomas was sentenced to ten years in jail, with two years suspended, and was handed a fine of $11,750 for all of the charges.
Cockayne’s family said it is ‘very difficult’ to get justice in the Virgin Islands, as the Virgin Islands Police Department refuses to identify Cail’s boyfriend.
His mother, Jeanie Cockayne, claimed that her family hired private investigators to gather information about her son’s death – and handed it over to cops while making it public.
They spent ‘tens of thousands of dollars’ on their investigation and are urging Cail’s family to do the same, adding: ‘If they want justice for their daughter, they’re gonna need to fight for it.’
She also claimed that a resident of St John called her, and said: ‘They told me about how Kamal Thomas’ girlfriend was found dead.
‘Apparently they didn’t know her well. They knew of her, and she was a nice person, but she just made bad choices. And he was one of them,’ she said.
The official confirmation of her death by the island authorities on Tuesday comes after her family said they have been left ‘devastated’ and ‘shook to the core’ by her death, as friends posted several cryptic messages about the tragic passing of the swimmer.
One claimed she had been ‘trying to escape’, and added that she ‘deserves justice’ despite no arrests being made in connection with her death.
They described her as an ‘amazing human and friend’, while writing in a separate post about Cali that they were ‘going to find out the truth’.
Another post – which appeared to also be about the swimmer – said: ‘She tried to escape to start healing. Unfortunately, she didn’t make it in time. You were so close honey’.
It was followed by advice for what to do if you are in an abusive relationship, but there has been no confirmation of the circumstances surrounding Cail’s death.
The former University of Maine swimmer worked at a coffee shop and bookstore in St John.
Heartbroken residents have left tributes for the award-winning swimmer outside of the store, along with flowers.
Cail, from Claremont, New Hampshire, was a star swimmer who competed across the US in her youth.
Another friend described Cail as ‘a very beautiful person [who] had a huge heart.
‘She was really loving and kind and well-loved and popular on the island and everybody knows her.’