By Ingrid Fernandez
Mauricio Merino’s cause of death, this week, could not be determined by forensic investigations or a post-mortem examination after his badly decomposed body was found hanging from a tree in Orange Walk.
Police pathologist Mario Estradabran conducted a post-mortem examination on Merino’s body on Sunday and established his age and identity but was unable to conclusively determine the cause of death due to the body’s advanced state of decomposition.
On Friday, the Orange Walk Police Department responded to information received and visited an area 1/4 mile on the Petville/ San Estevan Road just outside Orange Walk Town.
There they found a male person already in a decomposed state, hanging from a tree located approximately 10 feet from the road.
The person was later identified by his landlord as 65-year-old Merino, a mechanic of Salvadorian nationality. Merino was wearing a dark brown long sleeved shirt and was hanging from a tree on a rope measuring about five feet in length. Half of the body was already partly skeleton, which indicated that Merino had been dead for a number of days.
Police found a number of items around the decomposed body, some of which, eventually helped the landlord, Gilbert Arnold, to identify him.
Police found a white hand bag containing a machete, a grey Motorola cell phone, a black T-Shirt, a file, a piece of yellow rope and a small bottle of Old Master’s rum near the tree where the body was hanging.
It was revealed by the landlord that Merino had left the room he rented on 20 Bautista Lane Orange Walk Town, three weeks ago, saying he had a job to do. But he never returned.
National Forensic official Myers and photographerby Oscar Valladarez visited the scene and conducted investigations. Police have been unable to explain how Merino became suspended from the tree branch.
Orange Walk Police have not said whethe they suspect foul play, but they have apparently ruled out robbery.