News & Opinion
The body of Josiah "Jonty" Robinson, 24, was found on June 18, at BBC Beach in St. George, Grenada. Robinson was an openly gay Grenadian singer, model, and actor.
According to reports from the Royal Grenada Police Force initial autopsy results pointed towards "manual strangulation". Robinson performed on the same beach a day prior to his body being discovered. While an ongoing investigation is underway, a close companion of Jonty is a driving force of justice.
Celebrity journalist and publicist Yvette Noel-Schure says Robinson was like a son to her, according to a conversation between her and Award-winning Director Tyler Perry via Instagram.
Perry and Schure have partnered in the offering of a $100,000 award for anyone able to provide information that leads to the conviction of Robinson's murderer.
"My soul ached as she shared that he was young , gifted, singer, who was murder because he was gay", Perry said via Instagram. " My mind immediately went to Matthew Shepard, and all the other victims of racist, homophobic, anti-Semitic, xenophobic, senseless violence." Tyler Perry has over nearly 20 million followers on both Facebook and Instagram combined.
Noel-Schure is confident that Robinson's murder is a direct result of his sexuality, yet the Royal Grenada Police Force denies this claim.
"We wish to inform the public that based on investigation, we are in no position to link the death of Mr. Robinson to his sexual orientation, since we have gathered no evidence to that effect", the RGPF said in a statement.
Perry and Schure's announcement was met with mixed reactions, as their hast declaration of the cause of murder, has the potential to put Grenada in a negative light. Several Instagram users shunned Tyler Perry over his award offering, claiming he shouldn't support such narratives without confirmed evidence.
"While Pride month is celebrated annually in metropolises such as New York, Toronto and London, with public parades and global displays of support, the harsh truth is that his approach to activism in the Caribbean as a member of the LBGTQ community – his voracious desire to live in his simple, beautiful truth – often became a cyclic matter of life or death," wrote Tenille Clarke in a tribute to Robinson.
The two initially met through Noel-Schure and became confidants soon after.
"We choose to nurture the light and pave the way with the memory and legacy of Josiah Robinson: because for a heart like Jonty’s, in the face of fear there will always be a choice to live free."
The investigation into Josiah "Jonty" Robinson's death is currently ongoing. Anyone with any information can call The Criminal Investigation Division at this number: (473) 440-3921.