10 murders, 2 arrests; 2016 off to bloody start

By Ingrid Fernandez/ Staff Journalist

Of the ten murders that have occurred since the start of 2016, police have only been able to make arrests in two of them.

According to Commissioner of Police Allen Whylie, the frequent incidents are occurring “despite our intervention efforts and patrols countrywide.” As of the third week of the year, there has been at least one murder in every district, except Corozal.

“Of those 10 incidents we have made arrests in two cases. We are also looking for a number of persons in respect to two of those other cases. And so we believe there will be a fifth case solved,” Whiley said.

Five of the murders occurred using firearms and in the other five, knives or machetes were used. Police investigations have revealed that two of the murders are gang related. Several others stem from domestic disputes and attempted robberies, according to Whiley.

One murder occurred in Belize City during the first hours of the new year. On January 1st at around 5:12 a.m. police discovered the death of 21-year-old Kieron Shaquille Moss of Freedom Street. He was shot multiple times to the head and body.

Cayo recorded the second death of the year. Canadian filmmaker Matthiew Klinck was stabbed to death on January 4th. Police arrested 19-year-old Brandon Anderson and another underage teen in connection to the murder.

On January 8th, 28-year-old taxi driver Isidro Saur was murdered on the George Price Boulevard in Belmopan City. He was found with multiple gunshot wounds.

Two days later another taxi driver, 28- year-old Yoni Maas was found dead after having been reported missing two days prior. Maas was executed in similar fashion to Suar leaving many to question whether there was any connection between the two Belmopan murders.

That same morning Punta Gorda Police found the decomposed body of 19-year-old Jarrel Edward Pop inside a well. He had sustained chop and stab wounds to the neck, lower abdomen and other body parts.

That same night, Cleon “Tush Smith was killed in Hattieville.”He was shot four times. Rural Eastern Division police believe his murder was gang related.

On January 15th the body of American tourist 39-year-old Anne Swaney was found in the Mopan River. Police investigations indicate that Swaney was strangled to death. There is also no evidence that Swaney had been sexually assaulted, according to police but no leads have been forthcoming.

On January 16th in San Pedro police discovered the body of 35-year-old Sergio Giovanni Uribio with a large stab wound to the left side of the neck and left arm.

The Orange Walk District recorded its first death on January 17th. Orange Walk police found the nude body of 51-year-old farmer, Francisco Arrevalo, in Indian Church village. He had suffered multiple chop wounds.

On January 18th the murder of Maria Suyapa Garcia was reported in Bella Vista, Stann Creek around 5:00 a.m. Garcia had suffered multiple chop wounds to various parts of her body. Her common law husband, Edney Arillas, is the principal suspect in that case as police seek to find him.

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