The stabbing deaths of two American women whose bodies were found on a solitary beach shocked the 7,000 residents of this tiny, picture-postcard island in the eastern Caribbean.

They can't recall anything like it, and even the police chief isn't sure when the British colony last had a murder."We are so distressed here in Anguilla," said Clive Smith, 43, a construction worker and member of the Anguilla Assembly who found the bodies on Nov. 29 while taking a morning stroll.

"We are not accustomed to this kind of violence, and it happened just as tourism was booming," he said.

Susan Galvin, 39, and Martha Marie Alsup, 38, both psychotherapists from Watertown, Mass., were killed while exploring the island in a rented jeep. Their bodies, clad in swimming suits, were found in the desolate and rugged eastern tip of the island, an area called Windward Point Bay.

Hardly anyone ever goes there because the bay is rocky and violent.

"When I'm not too busy I like to stroll there because it is empty and I feel closer to God," said Smith.

Police say if it hadn't been for his walk, the women's bodies might have not been found because the strong waves could have washed them off.

Andy Otto, a 17-year-old local boy who was arrested the day the women were found, was charged Wednesday with murder and robbery.

If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of death by hanging, because police said he would be tried as an adult.

"Our investigation revealed the two women died from unnatural causes which led to the charges of murder and robbery," Police Commissioner Harold Payne said. He said the women were probably killed with a "sharp instrument."