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Feb 16, 2016

A Waitress is Brutally Murdered in San Pedro

Johana Samantha Mendez Barrios

There are two murders to report—one in Punta Gorda and one in San Pedro. Tonight, the body of Honduran national Johana Samantha Mendez Barrios lies inside the morgue at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where it awaits an autopsy. This morning, the twenty-two-year-old’s throat was slashed inside her apartment in the Boca Del Rio area of the island. She was rushed to the San Pedro Polyclinic, but bled profusely before succumbing to the single cut wound. News Five’s Duane Moody files this report from San Pedro.


Duane Moody, Reporting

San Pedro has recorded its first murder for the year 2016. Around ten o’clock this morning, the body of Johana Samantha Mendez Barrios was brought to the city by boat and transported to the morgue at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where it awaits a post mortem examination. The twenty-two-year-old Honduran national had been living on the island since late last year and worked at the Compadres Bar in the Boca Del Rio area of town.  Sometime around four this morning, Mendez’s throat was slashed inside her apartment, about two blocks from where she worked.


Voice of: Supt. Sandra Bodden, O.C., Coastal Executive Unit

“Sometime between five and five-thirty this morning, police were called out to the Basil/Paris Apartment Complex in the Boca Del Rio area where they assisted a female to the polyclinic. She apparently had a cut wound to her throat. The female later died at the San Pedro Polyclinic.”


Mendez left work at midnight on Monday. It is believed that just before one a.m., she was visited by a man who arrived in a taxi and left the apartment complex minutes before police arrived on the scene.


The blood trail at the Basil Paris Apartment Complex indicates that after Mendez’s throat was slit, she made her way to a friend’s room on the ground floor where she collapsed at the front door, fighting for her life.


Police in San Pedro are currently reviewing surveillance footage to assist with the investigation, but a motive for the homicide is not known.


Voice of: Supt. Sandra Bodden

“Information so far is that she was at her apartment when someone entered and inflicted the wounds to her; one single cut wound. So far, we are looking for one person. Investigation is still relatively young and this is the information that we have at this time.”


Duane Moody

“So it was an aggravated burglary that led to her demise?”


Voice of: Supt. Sandra Bodden

“Well at this time, we are not sure if it was an aggravated burglary because there are no signs of forced entry on the only main entrance to the room.”


Duane Moody

“We understand that she works at a bar. Is it believed that maybe this could have been triggered by something that had happened there?”


Voice of: Supt. Sandra Bodden

“Well at this time, we are looking at all angles. Wherever the investigation takes us that is where we’ll go until we can resolve this issue.”


It is believed that Mendez knew her killer because they were no visible signs of forced entry into her apartment. But was she able to identify her attacker before she met her untimely death?


Duane Moody

“I know you said officers assisted her to the polyclinic. In that vein, was he able to explain to them what had happened?”


Voice of: Supt. Sandra Bodden

“She was not speaking much because of her condition. She did give police some information that we are acting on at this time. We believe that it was just a random incident at this time. Police are normally stationed in the San Juan area, Boca Del Rio area, but as you know it is a relatively large area. And so what we will continue to do is to ensure that we maintain patrols in that area. However, because her room is situated on the second floor of the building, it is not something that would have readily come to the attention of the police.”


Duane Moody for News Five.

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