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Jan 26, 2005

Homeless man set ablaze in his sleep

Story PictureTonight police continue to investigate the brutal killing of a homeless man on the streets of Belize City. Burned alive and left to die in front of a Southside neighborhood store, good Samaritans rushed the victim to the hospital but there was little doctors could do. News 5′s Jacqueline Woods has the disturbing details.

Jacqueline Woods, Reporting
This picture, believed to have been taken in the 1960s, is the only known photograph of Michael Anthony McDonald better known as ?Macca?. It is not certain what may have happened to McDonald throughout his life that led him away from his siblings and eventually made him take up residence on the streets of Belize City, but after two this morning someone threw kerosene over the forty-four year old homeless man and set him on fire as he slept outside this store on Neal Penn Road. It was a gruesome sight, and one that one witness and a family friend, who did not wish to appear on camera, is still trying to forget.

Voice of Witness
?I no know him to be a trouble maker. Macca practically born on Pen Road and he grew up on Pen Road…he and all his family because I know all of them. He is a good boy but since he got older, he lived his own life and he lived on the street.?

According to our source, for the past month The McDonald has been sleeping at the location. On Tuesday night when he came to the area, she says all he had was a bottle of kerosene and a bar of chocolate.

Voice of Witness
?He asked me if I want it and I told him no Macca I don?t want your kerosene, take your kerosene and take it with you when you going tomorrow. He had a chocolate on the top of the kerosene. He put his head down back and he went fast asleep.?

?I believe though that somebody who he knows threw the kerosene on him and burnt him up. It was a terrible sight. I said Macca, Macca what happened to you? He told me somebody bun ah up. He said, “Somebody throw kerosene oil pan me and bun me up”. He asked me to please help him and when I went down, the state I saw him in made me felt sorry for him. I called the police and when the police came, they checked him out. The skin from his hand was hanging. He was bleeding and even his chest was white. He was burnt up and bawling please help, please help.?

Hospital authorities tell News 5 McDonald received burns to sixty five percent of his upper body. He was rushed to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where doctors worked for over three hours to save his life his vital organs collapsed and he died. The family say their brother suffered from a mental condition and had been discharged from the Rockview Institution last year. Today, they say they are confused because they do not know why anyone would want to torture and kill Michael McDonald. Jacqueline Woods for News 5.

Police say they do not have a motive or suspect in the case. If you have any information that can assist the police in their investigation call Crimestoppers at 922.

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