With no official confirmation through Wednesday of the cause of Bob Woolmer's death, the only statement came late at night from Karl Angell, the Jamaica Constabulary Force's director of communications, that said a second opinion was being sought on the autopsy. However, Thursday's editions of two leading Jamaican newspapers quoted unnamed police sources as saying that that Woolmer may have been strangled to death, and Woolmer's widow Gill conceded there was a possibility of his being murdered.
The Jamaica Gleaner said a "high-ranking police officer" had confirmed that fresh evidence has surfaced suggesting that Woolmer was strangled in his room at the Jamaica Pegasus hotel between Saturday night and Sunday morning. According to the police officer, Woolmer was found half naked in his room, partially wrapped in a towel. "A bone in the neck, near the glands, was broken, and this suggests that somebody might have put some pressure on it," the officer told the newspaper.
"We are now treating this as a homicide."
The Jamaica Observer also quoted unnamed sources close to the investigation as saying that bones in the lower part of Woolmer's face were broken, suggesting he had been strangled.
Assistant Commissioner of Police Owen Ellington, head of World Cup security here, however refused to confirm rumours of strangulation, the Gleaner said.
Deputy Commissioner of Police Mark Shields had said on Tuesday that an autopsy conducted on Woolmer's body by a government pathologist proved inconclusive as to the cause of death which was being treated as "suspicious." Shields said the police were awaiting the results of the toxicology and histology analysis from Woolmer's tissue sample.
Detectives also reviewed tapes from closed-circuit cameras at the hotel, which could give them clues as to who entered Woolmer's room during the period in question.
The Gleaner reported that members of the Pakistan team were interviewed on Wednesday by the police. "It is now unclear whether the team will be allowed to leave on Saturday as initially scheduled," the paper said.
Meanwhile, Gill Woolmer, when asked by Sky News television about claims her husband was murdered, said: "I suppose there is always the possibility. I mean some of the cricketing fraternity, fans are extremely volatile and passionate about the game and what happens in the game, and also a lot of it in Asia, so I suppose there is always the possibility that it could be that."
She added: "It fills me with horror, I just can't believe that people could behave like that or that anyone would want to harm someone who has done such a great service to international cricket."