By Mike LaBella
---- — HAVERHILL — Local police are investigating whether there is a link between the fatal stabbing of a man here Dec. 9 and his criminal past in the Virgin Islands.
Authorities in the Virgin Islands said they were investigating Misael Lima, 24, for a recent firearms offense and that they have arrested him in the past for unlawfully possessing a firearm, among other charges.
“We are looking into any connections with the stabbing in Haverhill and incidents that may have occurred in the Virgin Islands,” said Carrie Kimball-Monahan, a spokeswoman for the Essex District Attorney’s Office.
Lima recently arrived in the United States from the Virgin Islands. He was stabbed to death early the morning of Dec. 9 on Grove Street, police said. Kimball-Monahan said no details of the stabbing are being released. She said detectives assigned to the Essex District Attorney’s Office and Haverhill police are investigating. Authorities are not discussing any motives or reasons for the stabbings and no arrests have been made.
Lima’s reason for being here is not known, authorities said, however, a recent story published by the Virgin Island Daily News indicated he has an extensive criminal history in the Virgin Islands and that he was recently the subject of a police investigation there.
Melody Rames, public information officer for the U.S. Virgin Islands Police Department in St. Croix, said criminal investigation bureau detectives communicated with law enforcement officials in Massachusetts and have confirmed that Misael Lima of the Virgin Islands is the same Misael Lima who was stabbed to death in Haverhill.
Rames said detectives in St. Croix were investigating Lima in connection with several recent shootings.
On Dec. 9, the Essex District Attorney’s Office issued a statement confirming that there was a double stabbing in Haverhill resulting in one fatality. Lima and another male were brought to Merrimack Valley Hospital at 1:25 a.m. by a third person. Both men had been stabbed. Lima died at the hospital. The other victim was transported by ambulance to Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston with what were believed to be non-life threatening injuries. Investigators said the stabbings took place on Grove Street.
An Oct. 5 news story published online by the Virgin Islands Daily News noted that following a trial, a jury found Lima of Williams Delight not guilty of unlawfully possessing a firearm or being a felon in possession of a firearm. The story said Lima was arrested just before 8 p.m. Jan. 21, 2011, after police said they saw him throw a gun over a fence during a foot chase with police officers.
A story published Dec. 12 by the Virgin Island Daily News said Lima has an extensive criminal history in courts in the Virgin Islands, and that he was recently named in a police affidavit as a suspect in an investigation of violent crimes in St. Croix. According to the affidavit, Lima was one of a group of men police believed carried out a series of burglaries, robberies, assaults and thefts in the last few weeks. However, an arrest warrant had not been secured or executed before Lima left the territory some time within the last few weeks.