The Bahamians called in Scotland Yard, the FBI and Miami police in the face of mounting concern about the impact of the murders on the island's tourist trade, and in response to criticism that the local police force has failed to investigate properly..
In a rare news conference, the Prime Minister, Hubert Ingraham, said police wanted to question the Canadian, named by other sources as Philippe Desroisiers, 23, in connection with last week's murder of Joanne Clarke - a 24-year-old Briton - and the killing in July of the American Lori Fogleman, 32.
He said Ms Fogleman was sharing a room with the Canadian and another man at the Holiday Inn on the island before she disappeared on 20 July. She had previously known Mr Desroisiers in her home state of Virginia. After he reported her missing, the Canadian was "extensively" questioned by police but left the country last Friday, the day Ms Clarke is thought to have been strangled, Mr Ingraham said. He said police found the timing of the Canadian's departure "suspicious".
Mr Desroisiers had apparently been working on the construction of the second phase of the luxury Atlantis resort of hotels, beaches, clubs and casinos on Paradise Island, across a short bridge from Nassau.
There are hundreds of foreign workers at the site, now closely watched by police and private security agents.
Flanked by his cabinet ministers, police chiefs and British High Commissioner Peter Young, the Prime Minister was at pains to suggest there was no Bahamian serial killer at large.
Mr Ingraham said autopsies on the two bodies would be carried out today.Those would show whether the women were sexually attacked. But the Prime Minister said Ms Clarke's shorts had been partially pulled down and her swimsuit torn, he said.
Her body was loosely covered with leaves when found install shrub behind Cabbage Beach last Saturday. Ms Fogleman's body, found later the same day only a few yards away, was naked and buried in a shallow grave covered with shrub and rocks.