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Jun 5, 2017

Elderly Man Drowns in Santa Familia – Was It Deliberate?

Eduardo Landero

The second drowning over the weekend involved a seventy-nine-year-old man from the Cayo District. On Friday afternoon, Eduardo Landero jumped in the river and didn’t come back up. His decomposing body was found on Sunday morning and was buried immediately. But the family says they believe the drowning was not an accident, but was deliberate on the part of the elderly man.  News Five’s Andrea Polanco was in Santa Familia Village today and has this report.

 

Andrea Polanco, Reporting

Seventy-nine year old Eduardo Landero’s body was discovered here in the Belize River – almost a mile from his home in Santa Familia Village. Vultures in the area had already started eating away at his remains. The last time he was seen alive was on Friday after midday. He was at home with one of his grand-daughters and they came down here to the river just behind his home – when he went under water and never resurfaced.

 

Jordylee Ayala, Nephew

“Like around one o’clock, he and the small lee girl went to the river. And then after that he throw himself in the river and never could come back again. So, the little girl start run up yah and she neva find nobody until she auntie come around 5, so until that time they called the police and they couldn’t find it until yesterday.”

 

A search party of villagers and family members led to the discovery of Landero’s body downstream to the back of an area called Carmelita Gardens. On Sunday around eight in the morning – Jordylee and other relatives came across the body. But was it an accident? The family doesn’t believe so – because Landero has lived most of his life next to the river and fished here for many years – so he was familiar with the waters.

 

Jordylee Ayala

Andrea Polanco

“Is it somewhere that he would normally go to swim?”

 

Jordylee Ayala

“Yes. He was – it is normally where he would go to swim and because he was a fisher[man]. Every time he would go to that river too fish and bring some fish home.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“People went out looking; searching – talk to us about that?”

 

Jordylee Ayala

“Yes. We went searching – everybody grabbed a canoe and went searching; the Police and everybody and they couldn’t find it the same day and they went back the next day Saturday; and Saturday they couldn’t find it until Sunday at eight o’clock in the morning.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“Which area was he found – was it near to where he went that day?”

 

Jordylee Ayala

“No. It was so far about half a mile by a place called Carmelita; Carmelita Farm.”

 

According to Landero’s family, he was ailing and his behavior had changed over the past two weeks. His nephew says that Landero had attempted to take his own life twice before – and now they are of the belief that he finally killed himself – this time through drowning.

 

Jordylee Ayala

“He never hit his head. He was just acting different for the past two weeks. He stopped talk and act different.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“When you say acting different – was he sick or something; was he stressed?”

 

Jordylee Ayala

“He was like stressed out. Maybe it was that he had problems and he had pressure and he nuh want to tell nobody so he keep it to himself.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“So, you guys think that maybe he attempted to take his own life?”

 

Jordylee Ayala

“Well, well, we guess that’s what it was, yes. Because all of a sudden he start act different and he tried to do it two times.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“So, he tried to kill himself before?”

 

Jordylee Ayala, Nephew

“Yes. He tried to kill himself before.”

 

The family says what they will miss the most about Landero is his sense of humor.

 

Jordylee Ayala

“Every day he does talk to we and tell we jokes and things. Sometimes he would cuss us and tell we bad words but just playing, right. Every day he would talk to us. Every day that we come here he wah joke with we.”

 

Reporting for News Five, I’m Andrea Polanco.

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