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Jul 27, 2004

Two will be charged in Blondell murder

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She was known as a fiesty but lovable woman who for over three decades led the life of a trailblazing pioneer in the rugged limestone hills of central Belize. As police investigate her brutal murder, News 5?s Jacqueline Woods travelled south to find out more about the circumstances of her death.

Jacqueline Woods, Reporting

Seventy-three year old Mary Blondell, a naturalized Belizean from the United States, had been living in the country for thirty-four years and for the past twenty years lived on her farm situated about six miles off the Hummingbird highway in St. Margaret?s Village.

Mary K. Carridi, Daughter

?She started the lime industry in this country, the seedless limes; she?s been farming here for thirty0four years. She is also a nurse and so she did a lot of medical treatment of people.?

But sometime on Sunday, a couple of young men came onto Blondell?s property and killed her. Police say at the scene they discovered two masks made out of cardboard that the authorities believe they used to conceal their identity. They strongly suspect that the victim knew her killers.

Mary K. Carridi

?Yes, we do believe it was so because her house was not broken into; it was open when they got there?

It is not clear exactly what transpired but police say Blondell?s hands were tied and her attackers tried to kidnap her by taking her green Isuzu pickup truck. Her body was found in a shallow grave that the men had dug about three hundred yards away from her house. Sources tell News 5, Blondell?s clothing was ripped, her throat was slit, and she had several stab wounds to her left breast. Police say it is clear to them that Blondell fought fiercely with her attackers after she managed to get away from the vehicle and tried to run away. According to Mary Carridi, her mother?s caretaker first became aware that something was wrong after he returned to the farm late Sunday evening and could not find his employer.

Mary K. Carridi

?We just started calling the police and they went down. I must say they?ve handled it very officially and very professionally.?

?We are trying to secure her place and find out what exactly went on and just trying to deal with it; it?s hard.?

Carridi says because a number of items are missing from the house the family believes her mother was killed because of robbery.

Mary K. Carridi

?Her computer, her two meter radios, some jewellery and we?re not sure of everything yet until I get down there.?

Sr. Supt of Police Edwardo L. Wade, Head, Nat?l CIB

?Right now we are looking at all avenues in regards to this murder–robbery, kidnapping and we are trying to establish the motive. While robbery might be the main cause, we are trying to establish that at this time. We have found a number of items, which we believe could well be items stolen or taken from that building at the scene. These items are yet to be identified by somebody.?

The head of the national crimes investigation branch and senior superintendent of police, Edwardo Wade would not give us any specifics on the four young men they detained shortly after the discovery of the body. However, News 5 understands that those

detained are illegal immigrants and it is likely only the two suspects believe to have resided in the village will be charged for the murder. Jacqueline Woods for News Five.

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