Coral Bay Confrontation Over Money May Have Preceded Attack on Geiger

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Friends and community members provided St. John Tradewinds with details of David Geiger’s last days leading up to the fatal attack in his home early Saturday, October 29, in the quiet residential Grunwald neighborhood outside Cruz Bay. V.I. Police Department officials have released no new information regarding the gruesome murder of Geiger and brutal beating of his 14-year-old son Nathan, 14.

“There may have been a dispute in the home about money, but we don’t know who the dispute was with,” V.I.P.D. spokesman Sgt. Thomas Hannah said November 1.

Geiger, 43, had recently been off-island and had allowed a young female friend to house-sit for him, according to a friend. When Geiger returned, he discovered a large amount of cash missing from his home, the friend continued. Reports on the amount of money missing varied between $50,000 and $100,000.

Geiger, who ran a painting business for more than a decade, did not trust banks and kept a large amount of cash at his home, according to friends.

The longtime island resident did not believe the house-sitter took the money and instead confronted a young male acquaintance of the woman about the missing cash, Geiger’s friend added.

Confrontation in Coral Bay
On Wednesday evening, October 26, Geiger visited the Coral Bay family home of the young man he suspected of taking the cash, according to one of Geiger’s friends.

Accounts of that Coral Bay visit vary, but it seems certain Geiger had a confrontation with someone about the missing money that night.

On Thursday evening, October 27, Geiger attended a football game in Coral Bay between the St. John School on Gifft Hill and Antilles School.

Geiger was in good spirits and cheered on his son Nathan who played for the island school where he attended the eighth grade, according to friends.

Friday night or early Saturday morning, October 29, Geiger was brutally murdered and his young son severely beaten in their Grunwald home.

VIPD officials said they have reports there was a dispute over money but declined to comment on the reported October 26 Coral Bay confrontation.

On Monday, October 31, the mother of the young woman who house-sat for Geiger while he was off-island told acquaintances in Coral Bay that her daughter had nothing to do with the attack on the Geiger home.

Despite rumors that have been spreading across the island, VIPD officials said no arrests have been made and released no new information.

“What we’re getting caught up with here is listening to rumor,” said VIPD’s Sgt. Hannah. “We are trying to determine who was in the house, what time and what occurred in the house, how many persons were there and who was involved.”

Police Protect Investigation
The investigation is continuing and VIPD officials are not releasing information because they do not want to “taint” the case, according to Sgt. Hannah.

“It is vitally important that everyone understands that we have witnesses to talk with and, if they get tainted we might as well hang up the case in court – we must be extremely careful,” Sgt. Hannah said.

“People are going to say various things about this investigation, but we have to stay the course and do what we have to do to get resolution to this matter,” Sgt. Hannah continued.

Fire Intentional, Suspicious
The fire set at the Geiger home early Saturday, which awoke downstairs neighbors who forced their way into the home and found Geiger dead and his teenage son Nathan seriously injured, was suspicious and intentional, according to St. John Fire Department Deputy Chief Brian Chapman.

“In my opinion and from our preliminary report, the fire was obviously intentional but we have to wait for the forensics report to make those findings official,” said Deputy Chief Chapman.

The VIPD is leading the investigation into the murder, beating and fire which Deputy Chief Chapman called “incendiary.” “The term arson is used when relating to a fire that is set for some sort of gain,” said Chapman. “In this case it would be called incendiary because it was set to cover a murder.”

In general, an intentionally-set fire leaves various clues behind although water disrupts a crime scene, Chapman continued. “Generally speaking there would be clues left behind but once the water knocks out the fire, things get knocked around and disrupted,” said the deputy fire chief. “You can tell the source which is obvious is this case – a flammable liquid was poured in there.”