Kingston/London, Apr 2: Despite media reports that Bob Woolmer could have been poisoned to death, DCP Mark Shields stuck to his guns and said unreleased evidence established that the Pakistan coach was strangled to death. According to The Sun, Shields now believes that the burly 58-year-old Englishman was strangled after being subdued by poison or drugs. Sunday Mirror had reported that an anonymous caller, thought to be a Pakistani, tipped off Jamaica police that Woolmer was poisoned with aconite, a white powder used in the Middle Ages to cause death by asphyxiation, but Shields said unreleased evidence indicates murder.
Police have all along been saying that they were aware of irrefutable evidence that Woolmer had been throttled in his room at Kingston's Pegasus Hotel, less than a day after Pakistan's shock early exit from the World Cup.
But, unnamed PCB officials had doubted, relying on the fact that the first autopsy report on Woolmer was inconclusive, that their coach was murdered.
Many also allege that Woolmer could have died after drowning his sorrows in alcohol (whisky) following the team's humiliating loss to minnows Ireland, which led to their ouster from the ongoing World Cup in West Indies.
Police admitted last night that they are still some way off finding cricket coach Bob Woolmer's killer, two weeks after his murder.
Deputy Commissioner Mark Shields said Jamaican cops needed time to study CCTV from Mr Woolmer's hotel, and toxicology tests could take weeks.
Some experts still claim Mr Woolmer died of natural causes even as four Scotland Yard officers are flying out to aid the inquiry.
Mr Shields, 48, a divorced ex-Met cop, is under fire for allegedly putting his relationship with local beauty Keneea Linton, 24, ahead of his work.
Meanwhile, Pakistan captain Inzamam ul-Haq along with team mates yesterday paid tributes to late Woolmer at a memorial service in Lahore.