St. John resident donates $5K to boost reward for info leading to James Malfetti's murderer


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ST. THOMAS - An anonymous St. John resident has added $5,000 to the reward fund for the person who provides information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons who murdered James Malfetti III on St. John.

Malfetti's parents, James and Rosemary Malfetti initially put up $25,000 as a reward, which now is $30,000. It is a private reward fund that they intend to give to the person who helps authorities arrest and convict a person of their son's murder, they said.

However, neither of Malfetti's parents have any idea of who the mysterious donor is.

"I don't know much about them," Rosemary Malfetti said. "They live on the island. They are concerned that there is someone out there that did this."

Since V.I. Police discovered the body of the New Jersey native Jan. 19, the family has been very public about its quest to find whoever stabbed and murdered their son, a 41-year-old consultant and business owner who had been living on St. John for about a year.

Police found Malfetti's body the morning after a burglary had been reported the previous day at the same residence. At the time of the burglary investigation, police did not investigate the guest house that Malfetti was renting on the Cruz Bay property.

Malfetti's family believes that he died during the burglary, though police have not commented on that possibility.

Malfetti had visited the island regularly prior to his move there and loved St. John for its peaceful and community environment, Rosemary Malfetti said.

About a week ago, the family announced that they would offer a $25,000 reward to anyone whose information led to the arrest and conviction of the killer or killers. Soon after, the family received a call from the St. John donor.

"We're swimming in uncharted waters," Rosemary Malfetti said. The family is doing everything they can to find their son's murderer, from creating stickers to setting up a Facebook page in his memory.

Their efforts have not gone unrecognized, as political leaders from New Jersey have joined the cause after the family expressed frustration with the investigation being conducted by the V.I. Police Department, feeling alone in their efforts to solve the case.

"We feel like we've spoon-fed the police information, and we never hear anything," Rosemary Malfetti said.

Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., wrote a letter on behalf of the family to FBI Director James Comey, criticizing the work of the V.I. Police Department and asking that federal authorities step in to assist the department.

V.I. Police maintain that they have kept in contact with the family and are continuing to investigate the case.

"The case is still under active investigation," said V.I. Police spokeswoman Melody Rames.

On Wednesday, Rames was unable to answer any questions about the case, including whether police had any new evidence, persons of interest or suspects.

Anyone with information about James Malfetti's murder can call V.I. Police detectives at 714-9834, 715-5522 or 911. Another option is to call the Crime Stoppers USVI anonymous tip line at 1-800-222-8477.

The Malfetti family can be contacted at justiceforjimmyteam@gmail.com.

- Contact Jenny Kane at 714-9102 or email jkane@dailynews.vi.

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