Police in Dominica have charged two American men, Jonathan Scott Lehrer and Robert Snyder Jr., with the murders of Softimage founder Daniel Langlois and his partner, Dominique Marchand, whose bodies were found in a burned-out car on Friday.
Lehrer and Snyder are charged with the murders of Langlois and Marchand at Lehrer’s chocolate plantation, Bois Cotlette Estate, sometime between Nov. 29 and Dec. 2. They were remanded into custody pending a preliminary inquiry on Mar. 15, 2024, when the court will determine whether there is sufficient evidence to proceed to trial.
Langlois and Marchand had been reported missing last week, and the remains of two individuals were discovered on Friday in a vehicle which matched the description of their car. The bodies were burned beyond recognition, so police had to rely on circumstantial evidence for identification.
Langlois and Lehrer had been involved in a long-standing legal dispute over the use of Morne Rouge Public Road, which passed through Lehrer’s property on the way to the eco-resort and hotel owned by Langlois and Marchand. Lehrer had obstructed the road to prevent access, prompting Langlois to take legal action. The courts ruled in his favour, and Lehrer was ordered to unblock the road. In 2019, Dominica’s High Court affirmed the ruling that it was a public road.
A memorial ceremony will be held today (Dec. 7) on the island of Dominica for Langlois and Marchand, at 4 pm ET; it will be broadcast live on YouTube and Facebook. More than 15 local organizations will take part.
A release said, “Divers, fishermen, ecologists: all forces of the Dominican society are showing up for the deceased. They will come together at the Soufriere Bay, both offshore and on the jetty. At sunset, Dominicans will paddle out and form a circle ‘a symbol of the community and of the resilience of this exceptional couple,’ explains Simon Walsh, of the REZDM Foundation (Resilient Dominica Project).
“A minute of silence will be observed at 4:34 pm as flowers will be thrown in the middle of the circle at sea and traditional chants will arise, sung a cappella by the Sisserou Singers gathered on the jetty in a candlelight vigil.”