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Jun 4, 2015

Mother of 6 Murdered in More Tomorrow

Paola Garcia

There has not been a murder since the gruesome killings in Roaring Creek at the end of May. But in the early hours of this morning, a woman was killed in More Tomorrow, Cayo. And are pig thieves responsible for the murder of the mother of six children? That’s what family and associates of Paola Garcia believe. At least two men were on the farm and when their presence was detected they opened fire on a house. Seven people, Paola and her common-law-husband, Elias Lopez, and five of their children were inside at the time when Paola was killed. Andrea Polanco visited the farm today to find out more. Here’s that story.

 

Andrea Polanco, Reporting

In the early hours of the morning, murder visited this quiet farm on the More Tomorrow Road. Around one, thirty nine year old Paola Garcia was sleeping on this mattress when she was fatally shot in front of her husband and children. Caretaker Lopez says that he heard some noises to the back of the property and what unfolded was frightening.

 

Elias Hernandez Lopez

Elias Hernandez Lopez, Common-law Husband (Translated)

“Well, something terrible happened at my house last night. I have seven dogs and last night my seven dogs started barking and I got up and went to the door to see what was happening and I saw some people inside to the back. I just got my flash light and was going to open the door and they fired shots before I went outside. There were two, there were two of them. They fired the gun six times. I think they tried to kill us all but thank God it didn’t happen like that, they couldn’t kill all of us. I had my entire family sleeping there. There were seven of us in the little room and only one they took from us, they took her from us. All the others are safe and sound. I couldn’t see their faces. It was one in the morning so it was dark. Yes, they only hit her one time. Well, my kids are sad, devastated because they’ve lost the closest person to them, their mom, because she has suffered with them. My children are sad, worried and just crying. Some are this place and that place, different places, and I thank God for giving me patience and keeping me calm in this difficult moment. My children saw everything when their mother was dying at that moment.”

 

Just days ago Lopez and his family moved from Orange Walk to this farm. They had high hopes of working and building a quiet life here. The caretaker says he doesn’t know what was the exact motive of the men who killed his wife; maybe it was to steal livestock.

 

Elias Hernandez Lopez (Translated)

“Yes, just barely four days since I moved there because on Sunday I reached about ten in the morning and today, now, Thursday, I have to move from the house because I can’t stay there anymore. Well, no, I don’t know what exactly the men were doing there. I can only assume that maybe it was to steal the pigs that are on the farm. I don’t even know who did it. I just ask God to take care of them because they did something very bad. They killed someone defenseless and we couldn’t even do anything. I don’t know what were the motives of the persons because we really felt free and we were just working, with no motives or anything. We felt happy to work there with the man from the farm and we had no problems. I don’t know how that happened. If the person thought about it or not, I hope God forgives them.”

 

Lopez, fearing for his life, walked in the bushes along this road in darkness of the early morning, to seek help. He walked about two miles with his children. That’s when the owner of the farm was alerted.

 

Michael Flowers, Farm Owner

“At approximately three thirty this morning, I received a phone call from the chairman of the  village stating that the caretaker of my land was at his house and he said that they had just shot his wife. I got up and changed and immediately I came to the farm. I am very heartbroken, shocked and sorry for that family. I hope and pray that the police man find the culprits and deal with them according to the law.”

 

Just over twenty acres, the farm has thousands of dollars worth of livestock, it’s these pigs in particular that Flowers believes the thieves were after.

 

Michael Flowers

Michael Flowers

“A group of people came to the farm; assumingly to steal pigs and the caretaker that was here before was a very older man and he wouldn’t have heard them. It seems like the thieves did not know that I had changed, just a few days ago, gotten some new caretakers. They were much younger and it was an entire family.  About two weeks ago to a week and a half, someone came to the farm and went with five nig pigs. Five pigs and the caretaker said that he didn’t hear anything and didn’t know anything about it. It seems like those same persons came back to steal some more pigs but they found someone different and they were caught and decided that before these people squeal on us, we are going to hurt them.”

 

And when Garcia’s life was taken, it also signaled a shattered dream for Flowers, one that he has been working to make a reality for nine years.

 

Michael Flowers

“I have about forty seven different type of fruit trees. I have pigs. I have a tilapia farm. I have chickens and turkeys. I had big dreams for this farm. I wanted to go into pigs, tilapia and cashew seeds. So I have a lot of cashew trees growing on my farm.  So, I must say that it is very, very, frustrating to me simply because my passion was to have a farm and develop the farm and go into pig farming, pig rearing and I want to do it on a very, very large scale. This incident has not surely, if not stopped, at least slowed me down for a period of time.”

 

Reporting for News Five, I am Andrea Polanco.

 

According to family members, a white looking vehicle was spotted on the road in front of the farm at the time of the incident. When we spoke with police earlier this afternoon, they only confirmed that they have suspects.

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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1 Response for “Mother of 6 Murdered in More Tomorrow”

  1. Belizean Pride says:

    mein, up to where has the people reach for stealing and taking innocent lives. God forgive them because the world don’t and karma is real. It might not be the same person who kill but his family members karma never forgets. my condolence to this man and his young kids may the Lord give them strength to cope with this big loos of a mother and wife. i wonder what the killers would feel if they had their mother killed the same way? very sad.

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