(CNN) – Police on the Dutch Caribbean island of St. Maarten are investigating the killing of an American couple found stabbed in their home, authorities said Sunday.
The bodies of Michael and Thelma King of South Carolina were discovered Friday at their residence in Cupecoy, according to Taco Stein, St. Maarten’s solicitor general, who described it as “an ugly scene.”
An unidentified suspect was taken into custody early Sunday and is being interviewed, Stein said.
“It’s too early to reveal any more details because we are in the early stages of the investigation,” he added.
The killings occurred in an area popular with tourists, according to Stein.
“It’s generally considered a safe area,” he told CNN. “There are a lot of apartments there. This was an ugly scene. This is something that does not happen every day.”
Chief Prosecutor Hans Mos told the island’s Daily Herald newspaper that the victims appeared to have been stabbed to death. Thelma King was found tied to a chair and her husband was lying on the floor, Mos told the newspaper.
Topper Daboul, a restaurant owner on the island, said he was a friend and business partner of the wealthy couple.
“They were beautiful people,” he said. “They were kind to everybody.”
Daboul said he believes robbery might have been a possible motive.
“I’m shocked, I’m still in shock,” he said, adding, “I break down and I’m back up and I break down again.”