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Jun 8, 2015

Charred Remains of Ex-fireman Found in Burnt Vehicle in Dangriga

Ralston Patnett

The body of a veteran fireman was found burnt inside his vehicle in Dangriga. But who would want him dead and why? Well, it seems that the price on his head was high because his killers didn’t only fire a barrage of bullets on his vehicle, but they also set him on fire inside his car. While police haven’t confirmed the identity to us, all indications are that it was fifty-one year old Ralston Patnett, a fireman who served in Orange Walk and Dangriga. Patnett was taking care of a property in the southern municipality that belongs to a foreigner. But on Sunday night he was killed mercilessly at his place of stay. Andrea Polanco has the story.

 

Andrea Polanco, Reporting

Bella Vita that’s the name of this property and when loosely translated it is supposed to mean ‘Beautiful Life’ but it was anything but beautiful around midnight on Sunday when murder visited the beach front property couple blocks away from the commerce bight port on the Jetty Road in Dangriga. This car, described as a red Camry before the fire, was completely burnt. Sitting at the entrance of the property at the front gate, the fire scorched the mail box and even the decorative shells. And today, it was clear that who ever wanted the victim dead didn’t just set a fire, from all appearances the car had been riddled with at least fifteen bullets. And inside, police made a grisly discovery- a body burned beyond recognition. The body was later identified as that of Ralston Patnett, the caretaker of Bella Vista.

 

Supt. Roy Joseph, Officer in Charge, Dangriga

“This morning a little after twelve a.m Dangriga police received information of a vehicle on fire in the Commerce Bight Area. Upon arrival they observed a car on fire and the fire department personnel were called in and the fire was extinguished, thereafter it was observed that there were the charred remains of a body inside.  It is a pretty much isolated area.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“So no one reported if they saw anything suspicious in the area or anything of that sort?”

 

Supt. Roy Joseph, Officer in Charge, Dangriga

“Not at this time.”

 

While Dangriga Police couldn’t confirm the identity of the body and couldn’t give a cause of death because the investigation had just started, they were treating it as a murder.

 

Roy Joseph

Supt. Roy Joseph

“This is a young police investigation and we are treating it as a homicide. Why am I saying this? The investigation is showing us a number of things and as a result we are treating it as a homicide.”

 

Dangriga Police didn’t divulge much information but from the appearance of the house it appears that it was never broken into and that the killer or killers lay waited the victim, Ralston Patnett. The few neighbors in the area say that they saw Patnett swimming earlier that day and that he left the house in the evening but never saw his return. Neither did they hear any disturbance in the area- no gun shots nor explosion from the fire- because they were asleep at the time. Reporting for News Five, I am Andrea Polanco.

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