By Alexis R. Milan Staff Reporter
Thirty-one-year old customs broker Stephen Kuylen was executed Tuesday night in his yard at Sixth Street, in the Pasadita Area of Orange Walk Town.
Kuylen, who was originally from Corozal Town and whose execution-style killing is the northern district’s first murder for the year, was found lying face up in a pool of blood. He had been shot at close range.
Inspector Julius Cantun, the deputy Commander of the Orange Walk Police Formation, explained Wednesday that Kuylen was home alone, as his common-law wife, Farrah Marchand, had not arrived home.
Kuylen sustained “gunshot injuries on the left cheek”, Cantun confirmed, adding that further checks of the body revealed “what appears to be a gunshot wound on the left temple area of the victim.”
Authorities believe he may have known his assailants, as the deceased was lured from his home and subsequently cornered.
“From the information that we gather, yes, this was an ambush and this was an execution-style murder…we suspect that the assailant had access or had entered the yard of the gentleman to execute the crime,” Cantun said.
The Scenes of Crime personnel found five nine-millimetre expended shells and two live rounds of the same calibre.
Cantun added, “Shortly after the gunshots were heard, the neighbours say they saw two persons running away of the house of the now decease.”
Neighbours point out that the area is dark and one resident in particular indicated that after the gun shots rang out they heard the sound of a bicycle leaving the area.
According to eyewitnesses, Kuylen was shot around 8:40 that night.
A motive has not been ascertained, although speculations have mounted surrounding Kuylen’s personal life.
Of major interest to the police is that Kuylen’s licensed firearm is missing and Police are even considering that the firearm may have been used on him.
Police are seeking one person of interest for questioning and are recording statements from neighbours and family members as their investigations continue.
A post mortem on Kuylen’s body indicates that he died as a result of hypovolemic shock due to trauma to the head as a consequence of gunshot wounds.