“My life is defined by one half when I felt that I was one of the luckiest people in the world and then ever since January 24, 2016 when I’ve suddenly become one of the unluckiest people in the world.”
Those were the words of 64-year-old Brian Melito, husband of 39-year-old Jessica Colker who was brutally murdered by Dave Benjamin, while vacationing in Grenada in January 2016.
Melito opened up about the murder of his wife at a UK news station recently, stating that Benjamin who is currently serving a life sentence at Her Majesty’s Prison “took one of the most angelic people from this earth.”
The couple who resided in the United States, had been married for just over a year when they arrived in Grenada on January 23, 2016 on vacation and stayed at the Lasagesse Nature Centre, a small boutique hotel located on Lasagesse white sand beach in St. David.
The day after checking in at the hotel, Colker met her demise on a remote beach just behind Lasagesse, known as Las Pierre.
Melito recalled that while on the beach a man dressed all in white held a blade to his deceased wife’s neck and said, “Come with me.”
He recounted the events of that morning.
“We got up that morning ready to start exploring Grenada. We had a nice early morning together and a beautiful breakfast and Mike, the hotel owner then showed us an area where we could take a little walk. There was a nice beach to see. We gathered a few things and put our swimsuits on and took off,” he recalled.
The couple had decided to take a bath and have their lunch there but while separately exploring the area, Melito remembered hearing his wife called out his name.
“I turned and she was being held by a man who was extremely large and dressed all in white. Only his eyes and his hands were showing. He was brandishing a butcher’s knife and said come with me. I’m standing in a bathing suit and bare feet, I had nothing. We followed him, he was pulling her along in the jungle. With each step it got darker and more closed in. My mind was racing, where are we going? It felt like a trap.
According to Melito, the white outfit that Benjamin was clothed in, threw him off.
“Who would be dressed like this? Is this a group of bandits? Is it some sort of terrorist outfit that’s working in Grenada that I don’t know about?” he remembered wondering.
“The whole thing seemed bizarre. And he wouldn’t talk to us. I had a little bit of cash with me and he just ignored it. I could not get through to him, nor could Jessica. His look was cold as if he was without a soul,” he added.
Realising that Benjamin was not interested in money, Melito stated that his wife told him to run and though he regrets doing that, he complied.
“Getting more people to help me was probably my only chance. There weren’t even rocks or stones, I was watching for anything I can use as a weapon. I had nothing. So, I took about two seconds to think about what she had said and she usually thinks through things faster than me and comes up with the right answer. But this is one answer I wish I had ignored. I’m just forever regretting actually that that’s the course I took. But I followed her instruction and said I’ll be back,” he stated.
The widowed Melito recounted the brutality of the crime after his wife’s body was found.
“It was fairly obvious that she had been sexually assaulted. She had been struck in the head hard enough to kill her as well as evidence she had been strangled at the same time. Whatever happened, it was exceedingly violent and brutal. It was as nasty a crime as you could ever picture,” he said.
During the murder trial, Melito stated that Benjamin showed no remorse for the crime he committed.
“At one point, the judge made him look through the graphic photos that had been taken at the scene. She was looking for any sign of a human reaction or response. He showed absolutely nothing, he was kind of dead inside,” he stated.
He said a lifetime of grief has been left behind with the death of his wife.
“Jessica and I had a relationship that was somewhat magical, the kind of relationship that even some of our best friends who had been married much, much longer were envious of. He, the murderer has no idea that he has caused a lifetime of sorrow and grief for Jessica’s mother, her brother and for me. He took something away that can never be replaced ever…”.
“He never once showed anything that looked like sadness, remorse or regret – nothing. He’s too deranged and dangerous a person to ever be trusted among people,” Melito said.
Benjamin is only months into his life sentence at her Majesty’s Prison after being sentenced by Sitting Judge in High Court No. 2, Madam Justice Paula Gilford on January 1, for murder of 39-year-old Jessica Colker.