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Murder in Chan Chen: woman is hacked to death and dumped in savannah
Apr 23, 2014

Corozal Police have been unable to identify the body of a young woman found on Tuesday afternoon. The partially decomposed body was discovered by a resident of Chan Chen, lying in a pond just outside that village. There were extreme signs of violence on the woman police are calling Jane Doe, believed to be caused by human and animal predators. Due to the advanced state of decomposition, the medical examiner estimates that the body could have been dumped in that spot sometime on Sunday or Monday. Today News Five was in Chan Chen and Mike Rudon has the story.

FOR VIDEO CLICK HERE.

Mike Rudon, Reporting

At exactly eleven o’clock this morning, the body of an unidentified woman was buried in an unmarked grave in Chan Chen. The tranquillity of the scene was at odds with the brutal violence which took the life of the young woman Police are calling Jane Doe. The body was discovered by a resident of Chan Chen who was passing by this wetland just outside the village on Tuesday afternoon.

Voice of: Resident

“I saw something floating, but I thought it was a dog or a cow. I passed then I reversed to be sure of what I saw. And then I noticed that it was a person that was there…the body of a person, without life…”

Andrew Ramirez

Supt. Andrew Ramirez, O.C., Corozal Police Formation

“Corozal Police visited an area about a mile out of Chan Chen heading towards Patchakan on the left hand side, referred to as the savannah area, where they saw the nude body of a female, partially decomposed, with no hair and with several wounds to the head and face. The person also had the right hand severed off. We still have not identified that individual. We are asking the public for their input in relation to that.”

This morning the stench of death marked the spot where Jane Doe lay all Tuesday night under Police guard. An autopsy was performed early this morning to determine the official cause of death.

Supt. Andrew Ramirez

“The person had suffered some severe chop wounds to the head area…to the body also, to be more precise, but most of the injuries she had sustained to the head, which more than likely would have been the cause of her death. The doctor also indicated that the severing of her right arm, because there were also severe marks on the right leg, indicating animal…being the savannah, I can assume it’s an alligator, because tigers or other land animals would not give those types of injuries on that individual.”

 

Jane Doe was discovered on Tuesday afternoon, and the medical examination concludes that she could have been dumped there on Sunday. Dumped there, but she was not killed there.

 

Supt. Andrew Ramirez

“What we suspect is that the body was dumped there because the investigators on initial response had done thorough searches in the area, and we must be mindful that the body was about thirty feet inside the savannah, and to access the savannah there is not much land that you can access it, so there’s not much that the Police could have done in relation to canvassing. The space was limited, and there was no sign of blood in the area, and one can always conclude that the person was not killed at that specific area. She was dumped.”

 

There are few leads for the Police to follow at this point, and no evidence at the scene. For now, the first step has to be identification of the body.

Supt. Andrew Ramirez

“The doctor is basically saying that it is of a young person, a female in her twenties, about five feet five inches in height, dark complexion. The body appeared clear, but it was because of the sun. The doctor confirmed that it was that of a dark person. What I can say because I visited the autopsy and the scene myself, is that the person has two upper silver teeth, and the person had her toenails painted orange, so we are asking any person who has family members fitting that description who believe that they can assist us in identifying her to please come forward in relation to that.”

The body was found completely nude. No clothes, shoes or jewellery were in the vicinity. Her head was also completely bald, though the medical examiner claims that could be as a result of decomposition. Mike Rudon for News Five.

As we’ve mentioned, Jane Doe is a dark-complexioned female with two silver upper teeth and her toenails painted orange. Anyone with any information which can assist in identification is asked to call the nearest Police Station.

Patrick “Pata” Bevans executed near his home
Apr 23, 2014

Patrick Bevans

Twenty-two year old Patrick Bevans a resident of Port Loyola was shot and killed this morning by an unknown assailant. The latest Belize City homicide is believed to be the result of an ongoing rivalry between two established gangs. It is rumored that there is an imminent takeover of the Jane Usher Boulevard by the George Street Gang but that takeover is being met with fierce resistance. While police are yet to confirm they have indicated that their investigation thus far is leading them in that direction. Bevans is no stranger to the police as he was set to appear in court on Thursday. News Five’s Duane Moody pieces together details of the brazen murder.

FOR VIDEO CLICK HERE.

Voice of: Ashanda Gonguez, Relative of Murder Victim

“Dehn chance ahn outta ih life because dehn done know when yo pull pan Patrick Bevans, yo have to come from back way. Yo can’t face ahn front way whether ih injured or not cause he mi wah fight with dehn. And that dah weh dehn do with ahn. Dehn chance ahn outta ih life from back way. So whosoever kill ahn dah wah coward. Dehn shoulda mi face ahn like wah man.”

 

Duane Moody, Reporting

Twenty-two year old Patrick Bevans was murdered execution style this morning, just a stone’s throw away from his house, near the basketball court in the Jane Usher Boulevard Area. At least one gunman came up from behind and reportedly fired several shots to his head and shoulder.

Voice of: Ashanda Gonguez

“Ih walk up the street mi gwen dah the shop fi buy fonto and apparently when ih mi di come back, we noh know whether dah mi one or two gun man supposed to trail ahn and shot ahn from back way. The first shot ih get dah ina ih head and apparently dehn just continue shoot up ahn. Dehn say dah seven shots most of it to ih head, ih ears, and one in ih shoulder. Apparently dehn intentionally mean fi kill ahn. Last night, dehn send a lee bwai yah—di lee bwai bout ten years old or less than that—to come call ahn and tell ahn say somebody deh up the street di call ahn. We noh wah call no name because dehn know dah who. He and this person noh got no kind of relationship—you noh talk to me, I noh talk to you. But he neva did gone. When dehn come out and ask the lee bwai why dehn di call Mister Bevans for, di lee bwai neva answer; ih just run out of the yard and gone and that was it. That is, until this morning when they laywait ahn and shot ahn.”

Cpl. Jorge Lemus, Admin Officer, Precinct Two, Belize City Police

“Precinct two detectives were dispatched to the area at MS Street in the Jane Usher Boulevard Area where they saw the lifeless body of a dark complexion male person lying face down in a pool of blood with several gunshot wounds to the head and body region. Initial investigation reveals that one Patrick Bevans, twenty-two years, a Belizean unemployed of a Louise Bevans Street address was walking towards Curl Thompson Street in the said area when a dark complexion male person rode up to him and fired several shots in his direction…causing fatal injury.”

Bevans is a well known street figure who was wanted by police back in January for the murder of thirty-eight year old Emerson McDonald; McDonald was shot to the center of the lower back as he was walking on Central American Boulevard. In an attempt to detain Bevans, he was shot once to the leg at close range by a member of the Belize Special Assignments Group (BSAG) during a house search. That case was to be heard on Thursday, but Bevans was killed.

Voice of: Ashanda Gonguez

“That shooting with BSAG dah lie yo know. This man mi deh right home yah weh part yo see that step over there. All ah we mi deh yah and when dehn come the night, dehn come very disrespectful…noh say that dehn come do a search or that dehn di look fi this person or whatnot. Mister Bevans mi deh pan di step di sit down, but I think di roll wah weed. When he see them, he run. So the crowd follow he around the lane by the public pipe dah back yah and he deh ina di bush di hide. One B.D.F. see ahn and tell ahn come out of the bush and he come out with his two hands up in the air—he done surrender. Someone of them reach in time and the police still shot ahn ina ih foot and tell ahn yo lucky dah only ina yo foot and dah neva ina yo head. We got lotta witnesses to that; tomorrow dah the court case fi that. And we mi gwen because ih had witness.”

Jorge Lemus

After being hospitalized for at least two months for the injuries he sustained, Bevans would routinely take a walk with his crutches. But this morning, he was lay-waited and viciously attacked.

Voice of: Ashanda Gonguez

“The whole foot and everything mi done heng off and thing and doctor try bring t back. The bullet burst through and mess up ih ankle on the other foot too. So dah two of ih foot mi injured; he spend like two months or three months in hospital because of that one gunshot weh dehn give ahn with that machine gun from close range. And ih still neva mi di walk up to today’s day. That’s why dehn chance ahn outta ih life. Dah exercise ih mi di exercise ih foot because ih can’t walk…ih use crutch. Ih crutch dehn right yah from weh dehn move from underneath ahn this morning, weh ih drop pan.”

Relatives confirmed because of his lifestyle, Bevans had his share of enemies. They, as well as the police, believe that the motive behind the murder is due to a turf war in Jane Usher.

 

Voice of: Ashanda Gonguez

“Dehn got wah lee set back yah weh say dehn come fi run Jane Usher. Dehn say dehn dah from Gaza, but Gaza and Golley…I noh know weh dehn bwai into. Because dehn hear about Popcaan and this one di sing about Gaza and Golley, dehn wah be part ah Gaza and Golley. First dah mi bloods and crips and now that Gaza and Golley… dehn simple just like Gaza and Golley.”

 

Cpl. Jorge Lemus

“Detectives are interviewing several suspects. We are trying to ascertain the motive and we are recording statements from witnesses at this time.”

Reporter

“Has there been a spike in crime and violence in that specific area?”

Cpl. Jorge Lemus

“In the past couple of months, we have seen the rise in that area.”

 

Seven nine millimeter expended shells were recovered from the scene. Duane Moody for News Five.

Was George McKenzie Jr. targeted by police because of his father’s past?
Apr 23, 2014

Do you believe that George McKenzie Junior was purposely targeted by police because of his father’s past? Send your comments and responses using your SMART phones to 8686 or post your vote on our e-poll at channel5belize.com. You can also send an email with your comments to questions@channel5belize.com.

14 year old knocks down toddler in Orange Walk Town
Apr 23, 2014

Roger Briceño

There was a road traffic accident in the village of Trial Farm in the Orange Walk District last Thursday. RTAs are very common, but the circumstances surrounding this one are not. A fourteen-year-old minor was allegedly given the keys to a pickup truck to run an errand. He was doing that when he knocked down two-year-old Rachel Chan and seriously injured her. Orange Walk Police have wrapped up their investigation into the matter and will summon the minor and the adult he alleges gave him the keys.  That man just happens to be the driver of Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega. Christopher Hendricks denied giving the keys to the minor, but following a Police investigation, the decision was made to charge him in court. Today, Police Constable Roger Briceño gave us the details of the case.

FOR VIDEO CLICK HERE.

PC Roger Briceño, Orange Walk Police Department

“It was at about twelve-forty-five p.m. that I received information of a victim at the Northern Regional Hospital Emergency Ward who suffered injuries as a result of an accident. I proceeded to the hospital where in the ward I observed a female baby, two years of age, Rachel Chan, who had a large cut wound on top of her forehead coming down all the way to her temple. Police investigations reveal that a minor was driving a Ford F-150 pickup on Sapodilla Street, Trial Farm Village, from the direction of Mahogany Street toward the Philip Goldson Highway when he knocked down this baby that was on the street-side.”

Reporter

“Could you tell us about the circumstances in which this minor came to be driving this pickup?”

PC Roger Briceño

“A statement was recorded from him and he stated that he was given the key by an adult for him to take some pieces of wood that would serve as firewood to his home, and that is how he came to be holding that key and having access to that vehicle.”

Reporter

“Have you all done further investigation to talk to the adult to see if that story bears up?”

PC Roger Briceño

“Most naturally that would be denied by the driver, the adult I mean, the owner of the vehicle. The investigation has concluded and that’s the reason why defendant summons have been prepared and that will be served shortly and the case has been set for Tuesday the twenty-ninth. That is the day the people are expected to go to the court.”

The minor, who we are told is fourteen years old, will be charged for driving without due care and attention, negligent grievous harm, driving a motor vehicle without a driver’s license and failing to report an accident. The owner of the pickup, Christopher Hendricks, will be charged for allowing a person to drive while not being the holder of a driver’s license. Two-year-old Rachel Chan was transferred to the K.H.M.H. where we are told she is listed in a serious but stable condition.

Ministry of Health on alert; CHIKV detected in Latin America and the Caribbean
Apr 23, 2014

CHIKV, a mosquito-borne virus which causes an illness similar in transmission to dengue fever, has become an emerging threat within Latin America and the Caribbean.  Infection causes an acute fever which can last anywhere between two to five days, succeeded by a prolonged period of joint pains, intense headache, sleeplessness, and weakness.  While vector control is the best method of prevention, CHIKV has no specific treatment with medication.  With cases being reported in both regions, the Ministry of Health is tonight on alert and is launching a countrywide awareness campaign.  This afternoon a press conference was held in Belize City where public health officials, as well as Director of Health Services Dr. Michael Pitts were on hand to discuss the threat of the disease.

FOR VIDEO CLICK HERE.

Dr. Michael Pitts, Director of Health Services

Michael Pitts

“For this disease there is no vaccine so basically once somebody gets the disease you treat the symptom.  Chikungunya, unlike dengue where somebody can get a series of dengue cases, can only get Chikungunya once, so you get it and it’s finished.  Chikungunya however, is a disease that doesn’t lead to a lot of deaths but it leads to a protracted illness where instead of people being ill for a week or two they can be sick up to six months or a little longer with a cardinal feature being the joint pain.  It is transmitted by a mosquito.  Now, for Belize when we spoke to the population about dengue we spoke about the Aedes Aegypti, now this same mosquito also transmits dengue.  In addition, there is another variety of the Aedes mosquito that is present in Belize that can also transmit this Chikungunya.  So the approaches then to managing, well let me just give the cases.  For the region we started in St. Maarten and I believe St. Maarten reported up to April about twelve hundred cases, confirmed cases of Chikungunya and you have as far north as Dominica with seventy-two cases.  I believe recently there are some cases reported in Dominican Republic, I think about seventeen cases reported in Dominican Republic around the fourth of April and in French Guiana last week, the confirmed about forty-six cases.  So, nowhere on the mainland of the Americas, except for French Guiana we have other cases confirmed.  So Belize has no cases but I must say that we have all the environmental conditions, we are tropical just like the Caribbean.  The mosquitoes are there, the environmental conditions are there and the level of interaction is happening where I think it is really safe to say that it’s not if but when it will come here.  So we are in a preparation mode to deal with this so today, what we had with our staff to start off a major sensitization having done some groundwork, start off formal sensitization with a staff and then we need to also have sensitization with the general population so that they can be aware of what is on the horizon and what they can do to help.”

 

The public is advised to take all necessary precautions by getting rid of breeding grounds for mosquitoes, including old tires, buckets, etc.

Guatemalan soldier, detained in Belize, but to be set free
Apr 23, 2014

David Jones

Armed confrontations along the Belize/Guatemalan border, involving the Belizean military and Guatemalans conducting illegal activities within our country, have been a perennial issue which some may say remain unresolved. And on Monday, a Guatemalan soldier was detained in Belize within the Chiquibul National Park. The soldier and three others were found approximately two hundred and fifty meters inside Belizean territory by B.D.F. soldiers on patrol along the border. Only the soldier was detained and processed and according to Brigadier General David Jones, he will be returned to his country. News Five understands that the soldier will not be charged for illegal entry or any immigration or criminal offenses. This course of action is in an effort to ensure continuous confidence building measures between both countries. Approximately three weeks ago, the B.D.F. had a meeting with its Guatemalan counterparts to address the fatal encounters within Belizean territory.

Brigadier General David Jones, Commander, Belize Defense Force

“The O.A.S. has always verified where incidents occurred, what actually transpired and vindicated the soldiers that they were always in self-defense. We are trying to move forward from the tensions because in 2012, late 2012, there were tensions. In 2013, the tensions continued and then it is reaching a point where we don’t want serious escalations between the military of Guatemala and the B.D.F. So in the meeting I had with the Guatemalan general a few weeks ago, we sat down and we discussed a way forward and this is some of the things that we discussed. When our soldiers inadvertently stray across the border, how can we pacify the situation and hand them over to the relevant authorities as quickly as possible. So that incident that happened over a decade ago, it doesn’t seem fair to us that even though we captured a soldier here in Belize that we are not treating them the same way our soldiers were treated over a decade ago. However, we are trying to move pass that. When our soldiers would stray across Guatemala, this would be the same protocol because even after that incident, our soldiers have strayed into Guatemala. And they have extended the same courtesy to us, so in this incident I am extending the same courtesy to them. So by good faith, we are expecting that they behave in the same manner in the future.”

Reporter

“It always happens that it is a Guatemalan who is encroaching on Belizean territory and it is always them who get shot and it is always in self defense. The public may be wondering why is it that we always have to be the ones to give lee way and sort of bend over when it is them who is always in this illegal activity.”

Brigadier General David Jones

“It is a fair question, fair thought and it is fair for Belizeans to be asking this question. All the incidents that have occurred that have ended in fatal shootings, it showed that the Belizeans acted in self-defense. It is always only the Guatemalans coming across in Belize. This is one of the exact discussions I had with the Guatemalan General jut about three weeks ago and I have expressed to him that one of the best solutions to this is to encourage their people to stop coming over into Belize; that would solve the problem then our B.D.F. will not have any encounters with them. My intention this year and for the rest of my career while I am here in the B.D.F. is to maintain the territorial integrity and sovereignty of this country. So despite the shooting incidents that have been occurring along the border, I will continue to send soldiers there because this in my view is our country and we are supposed to defend it. And that is why I have been advocating reducing the amount of people working on the streets and then going back along the borders. So that’s what we are doing now; the patrol along the borders has been stepped up and it will continue on that path.”