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May 9, 2016

A Football Player is Slain on La Isla Bonita

Melvin Almendarez

The last time we reported on a murder in San Pedro AC was back in March of this year. It appeared that violence and crime were on pause, but on Friday night, the body of a well-known football player was found in the south of the island on a feeder road. Police happened on the body of Melvin Almendarez; it had injuries to the head, face and chest. While a motive has not been established, a Canadian national is being questioned because some of Almendarez’s belonging were found at his property. News Five’s Duane Moody reports.

 

Duane Moody, Reporting

Murders in San Pedro for 2016 so far have been few and far apart; so on Friday night when the body of Melvin Almendarez was found near a sports bar south of the town, it was cause for concern. Sometime after eleven p.m., south patrol officers were conducting routine watch in the area when they heard what was believed to be the blast of a gunshot. Minutes later, the officers would discover the body of the twenty-six year old Honduran national.

 

Supt. Sandra Bodden, O.C., San Pedro Police Formation

“Police visited the south of San Pedro Town, about a half mile south of the town, where upon arrival about a hundred and thirty feet into a feeder road on the left hand side of the same feeder road, they found the lifeless body of a male Hispanic person. The male person was dressed in a checkered short pants and he had on no shirt. He was seen with injuries to his head, to his face and abrasions to his chest. Initial investigation reveals that the person was later identified as Melvin Ariel Almendarez Mejia, twenty-six years Honduran painter of DFC area. He was last seen entering the south of the island by security guards in that area.”

 

Reporter

“Going back to the crime scene, were there any expended shells that were found there?”

 

Supt. Sandra Bodden

“As far as we have been able to determine, not at this time.”

 

Reporter

“And no apparent gunshot wounds on the body?”

 

Supt. Sandra Bodden

“The postmortem will determine what was the cause of his death. So far, we have not been able to say whether yes or no it is actually a gunshot or not.”

 

Almendarez’s body was discovered about a mile and a half from where he lived in the DFC area of San Pedro. It’s been almost three days since he was killed, and investigators say, a motive has not been ascertained.

 

Supt. Sandra Bodden

“At this time, our investigations are still young. It has been just about forty-eight hours since the incident took place and we are still trying to put the pieces together. We have some information that we are working on, however, at this time, there isn’t much that we would be able to reveal in terms of what has been done so far and where we are going.”

 

Duane Moody

“Now, we understand that there is a person currently in detention. Has that been able to help you guys in determining a motive for this crime?”

 

Supt. Sandra Bodden

“So far we have not been able to establish a motive for this incident; like I said, we are still investigating.”

 

The body of Almendarez was shirtless…dressed only in a short pants and was face up on the side of the road. His belongings—a bicycle, a pair of slippers and his shirt—were, according to residents, discovered at Coral Garden near the entrance to the DFC area on San Pedro. Reports are that a golf cart was also discovered with what is believed to be Almendarez’s blood. By Saturday evening, a Canadian national, who News Five understands has been supporting Almendarez’s football team, was taken into custody.

 

Sandra Bodden

Supt. Sandra Bodden

“We have no evidence at this time to suggest that anything illicit was happening.”

 

Duane Moody

“Ma’am we got information that his bicycle was found at a resort nearby and that a golf cart was also discovered with blood, believed to be that of Mister Almendarez. Can you confirm whether that is the case?”

 

Supt. Sandra Bodden

“At this point I cannot confirm nor can I deny. Again the investigation is still young; we have to go where our leads take us.”

 

Duane Moody

“His bicycle was found at the residence of a Canadian national; can you talk to us about that? What’s the linkage there?”

 

Supt. Sandra Bodden

“At this time, I will not be able to talk about that. We don’t want to jeopardize the investigation and so we don’t want to divulge too much information.”

 

Catracho, as he was affectionately known, was a painter and well-known football player on the island. According to the police, Almendarez is not known to be involved in any criminal activity.

 

Supt. Sandra Bodden

“Since I have taken over as O.C. San Pedro, I have never been in contact with Mister Almendarez and so in that respect, I don’t believe that he is known; however, he was a well known football player in the community. That I can say. Like I said, the investigation is still young. Based on what we have so far, we will have to seek legal advice from our legal counsel in Belmopan and at the D.P.P. Office to see where we go. So I can’t say yes, we will be pressing charges or no we won’t be pressing charges.”

 

A post mortem will be conducted on the body to determine the cause of death. Duane Moody for News Five.

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