The parents of the internet businessman found dead of stab wounds in his south shore apartment in January are asking for the public’s help after months of holding back so as not to interfere with the V.I. Police Department investigation of their son’s murder.
Ro and Jim Malfetti of New Jersey, are asking for help in finding out who killed their son, James Malfetti III, 41, a successful internet entrepreneur who had settled on St. John to pursue his love of water sports while growing his businesses.
“There has been no progress in our son Jim Malfetti’s murder investigation,” the Malfetti’s e-mailed St. John Tradewinds. “There has been no action taken and no communication from the USVI PD.”
“We are at a standstill right now,” the Malfetti’s wrote. “Have you heard anything at all regarding his murder? Is there word on the street? Can you connect us with someone that may have some answers?”
The Malfettis brought in their own private investigator shortly after their son was murdered. When they subsequently offered a reward for information, it conflicted with the reward limit for the U.S. Virgin Islands the Crime Stoppers tip program.
The Malfetti’s enlisted the support of U.S. Senator Robert Menendez immediately following their son’s death and employed their own investigator, and the VIPD cutoff contact with the Malfettis after the ensuing negative national publicity.
Speculation on Burglary Connection
Initial speculation had tied Malfetti’s murder to an attempted burglary of the main residence of the vacation rental property on Friday night, more than a day before the property manager checked Malfetti’s separate apartment on the property and found him dead.
Malfetti was found unresponsive inside his apartment by the property manager and had suffered “puncture wounds on his neck,” according to a VIPD press release.
The Malfetti family complained that the police report listed the time of death as Sunday, when Malfetti’s body was discovered, not Friday night or Saturday morning when the attempted burglary of the main residence had been reported and VIPD officers had responded to the scene and investigated without checking the apartment.
Police initially linked Malfetti’s death to the burglary of the main residence because electronic equipment was missing from Malfetti’s apartment and Malfetti’s vehicle was found nearby where other stolen vehicles linked to previous neighborhood burglaries had been abandoned.
St. John Tradewinds sources said some of the missing electronics and Malfetti’s cell phone have since been recovered,
This case was being investigated by the Major Crime Bureau and Intelligence Agents. Forensic technicians collected and were processing evidence.
Todd Phoenix, the Malfetti’s private investigator, who spent five days on St. John investigating Malfetti’s death in January, has said there were “other persons of interest” in the case. The private investigator at the time also said he had limited official contact with VIPD investigators.