Grenada murder: American woman killed by a man with a 'cutlass' just hours after arriviving on the Caribbean island

Victim and her husband were attacked less than half a mile from the world-famous La Sagesse beach

An American woman has been violently murdered while on holiday with her husband on the idyllic Caribbean island of Grenada.

The as-yet-unnamed 39-year-old was found dead approximately 12 miles outside the capital St George’s early on Sunday, having allegedly arrived from the US state of Georgia the previous day.

She is understood to have suffered multiple stab wounds, with police investigating the possibility she was raped and then killed by a man armed with a cutlass-style sword.

Local website the SpiceIslander Talk Shop said the victim and her husband were walking less than half a mile from the world-famous La Sagesse beach -where dozens of holidaymakers would have been sunbathing - when the man carried out the attack at around 11:30am local time.

The woman’s husband was able to flee the scene and raise the alarm but the woman was found dead in a nearby mangrove a few minutes later.

The website suggested local police have already identified their main suspect – an ex-convict who was recently released from prison.

Holidaymakers said news and rumours about the murder had spread throughout tourist resorts on the island.

British journalist Sue Hardy, 63, told MailOnline: “Gradually we put the story together. It appears the American woman tourist - described as 'very beautiful' by one member of the staff I spoke to - had gone off for a stroll along the beach with her husband.

“I was told she had been raped too. They said she was lying on the edge of the water. I don't know how she was killed - maybe the attacker, or attackers, held her down in the water and drowned her, I just don't know,” she added.

Grenada, which is known as the Island of Spice thanks to its extensive mace and nutmeg production.

At just 133 square miles in size and with a permanent population of 110,000 Grenada’s economy is reliant on tourism. It has become a popular stop-off point for those touring the Caribbean islands, with approximately four cruise ships stopping off near St George’s every day.