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Jul 7, 2017

Shaken San Pedranos Mourn Faye Lin Cannon

The community of San Pedro is still reeling and outraged at the death of a thirteen-year-old girl, one of four girls adopted by American parents. Faye Lin Cannon was found dead since Monday; she had signs of physical and sexual abuse. Police are now looking at her parents as suspects in her death. David and Anke Doehm have been in police detention and have not been charged, but the Human Services Department has removed the other children from their care. Today in San Pedro a peaceful protest was held and the community is wondering whether the system have failed the young girl. News Five’s Andrea Polanco reports.

 

Faye Lin Cannon

Shelley Arceo Huber, Resident

“Welcome to La Isla Bonita! That all of our taxes, the amount of money that this community pays. What are getting? Dead children? Abused women? Abused community? Because when they abuse a child, they abuse us.”

 

Andrea Polanco, Reporting

Could thirteen-year-old Faye Lin Cannon still be alive today? The San Pedro Community believes so. The teenager was found dead in her room at her family home and her adopted parents, American couple David and Anke Doehm are the suspects, after medical examinations show that the child was physically and sexually abused. Today, residents staged a peaceful protest in front of the police station; they say the system failed Faye Lin.

 

Shelley Arceo Huber

Shelley Arceo Huber

“I saw it and many people saw it. There is the Town Board and Rubi Moon – these people’s gift shop and I saw it and many people saw it. “

 

Andrea Polanco

“Did you ever report it?”

 

Shelley Arceo Huber

“I called the American Embassy and they told me that they were going to come. And they never came.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“This is three and a half years ago?”

 

Shelley Arceo Huber

“Three and a half years ago. I called the Human Service from San Pedro and he never came.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“Do you feel that the system failed this child?”

 

Shelley Arceo Huber

“The system has failed the entire community because this is not the only child. The abuse and incest in this community is out of control. We want no mercy for these people, but I condemn the authorities for not…doing anything.”

 

Susana Eiley, Resident

“I had reported this case three years and half.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“You personally reported it?”

 

Susana Eiley

“I personally reported it.”

 

Susana Eiley

Andrea Polanco

“To whom?”

 

Susana Eiley

“To Mister Adan Kay.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“Who is Mister Adan?”

 

Susana Eiley

“The social worker from San Pedro, ma’am. And I never got a response.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“What did he say when you reported it to him?”

 

Susana Eiley

“He did go and see it because I was behind it and he said the kids are okay; the beds are clean and the house is clean; everything is okay.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“So, you believe the social worker out here is not doing his job; he’s ineffective?”

 

Susana Eiley

“He’s not, he is not, he is not doing it. He is not doing his job. He is ineffective. And everybody can confirm it. When you go to the office you do not find him. He needs to get his act together.”

 

Celi Greif

Celi Greif, Resident

“I was neighbours with them for about two years. The saddest part is that all the concern here is that at least twenty people went to social services to report this. Miss Susana Eiley twice took them. So, it breaks my heart to think that these kids every day I saw them going to school and not knowing the pain they were going through.”

 

Faye Lin and her three sisters lived in San Pedro with the Doehms. The girls attended this school – La Isla Bonita primary school. Only the eldest completed her primary education; two of the others were taken out of school, whilst only the youngest remain in school. Faye Lin was taken out three years ago; in September she would have been going into standard six. She completed standard three with good grades – as can be seen in this grade book she was an A student. And so today, the school mourns her passing. There were little signs that something was wrong – but her past teachers never suspected it was so serious.

 

Jaime Jimenez

Jaime Jimenez, Standard 3 Teacher, La Isla Bonita Elementary School

“I had an incident in class with Faye. One day I told her that I would call her dad in because she was misbehaving. And when I did that there was an aggressiveness that came out from her. She even bite my hand and I told her let’s go I will take you in the office and call your dad. But she insisted not to leave the class and then there I said ok I will not call your dad but what is the problem? So, that is when I called Miss Addy and I told her and we called the parents in and they just denied everything from us, everything. That is the last incident I had so I don’t know if because of that incident we had there and she was already speaking out; so I don’t know if that is why they took her out from school.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“What was she saying?”

 

Jaime Jimenez

“She was basically telling me that she hated her dad but with an aggressiveness and then she cried.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“Do you think the community or if the people around had done more, Fay would still be alive today?”

 

Jaime Jimenez

“I will say yes. I will say yes because Faye was speaking out already. She was. But we couldn’t do anything because then she stopped school and even we ask why she stopped and we as the teachers started to investigate if she was actually doing home school so that we can actually report it but we couldn’t find nothing.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“Do you have any regrets as her teacher that you didn’t see that there was more behind the mask that she put forward?”

 

Jaime Jimenez

“Well, ma’am I really feel hurt. I feel like I could do something, but I tried my best.”

 

Voice of: Hector Trejo, Standard 2 Teacher, La Isla Bonita Elementary School

“There were several allegations about them being treated wrongly. We never wanted to interfere in their business but some people in the community did do something about it and nobody paid them any mind.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“So, why didn’t you guys at the school didn’t try to intervene, this is a child we are talking about?”

 

Voice of: Hector Trejo

“Yes. That is true. We never intervened because we thought that the authorities were going to take care of it.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“Do you feel any sort of regret that you guys didn’t do more?”

 

Voice of: Hector Trejo

“Definitely. I really feel bad for Faye.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“As the Principal of the school, did you have any interaction with the parents; what were they like?”

 

Addy Martinez, Principal of Isla Bonita Elementary School

“Basically, no. They didn’t really come to the school for anything. They would just call or text me if the girls were okay. I never talked to them or anything like that.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“Now, I understand they pulled two of the girls out from school before they completed their education here at La Isla Bonita, is that correct?”

 

Addy Martinez

“Yes, ma’am it is correct.”

 

Residents say that outside of school, the parents treated the girls inhumanely. They allege that the Doehms would cut off the girls’ hair as a form of punishment, put them to stand in the sun and gave them very little food to eat.

 

Shelley Arceo Huber

“We saw it in front of their business. They never allowed the children to go inside. The sun is hot here and these are the children – if they lean they are watching them from inside. This is how the kids were – if they get tired on this foot they put the other foot. When the sun is here they go under the Town Board office and it was the same thing for the four kids. And when it was lunch time, she went and bought four packs of bread and water and sat them on the beach on a log and gave them that to eat. And when they got upset, when the children wouldn’t want to obey them they would cut their hair way up here like man because they are little Indonesians or little Chinese kids. The woman told me that she picked them out of the garbage, and now she disposed one in the garbage.”

 

Residents say that the parents never integrated in the community like other expats.  And while the parents allege that Faye-Lin was mentally ill, just about everyone refuted that claim. Today, San Pedranos say the parents should be jailed.

 

David & Anke Doehm

Susana Eiley, Resident

“I want them to send to jail and throw away that key. Rot in jail. And let them feel what it is to feel when you are raped. Let them feel it. Because it is not fair to be abusing a thirteen year old. The way she died we could have stopped it. We could have stopped it.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“Did anyone from the community ever approach the parents and talk to them about what was happening?”

 

Susana Eiley

“Those parents they were never social person. They were always mad and only looked on one side and that is the way they were growing the kids.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“So, they didn’t integrate in the community?”

 

Susana Eiley

“Never, never. We have a lot of the expats that come here. They have the south neighborhood, the north neighborhood, they go around and they say hello. These ones, you knew there was something there.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“The parents have made allegations that Faye was mentally ill; what would you say to that?”

 

Voice of: Hector Trejo

“Well, I think those allegations are wrong. I taught her for one whole year and if she had been mentally ill some type of signs would have been given to us.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“Seeing her or hearing from your child, did you ever hear that this child was mentally ill? Did she display any of that in the classroom?”

 

Chris Burkey

Chris Burkey, Expat, San Pedro

“No. Not at all. The parents are psychopaths, obviously. They are definitely lying. She was a smart little girl. First in her class.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“How do you process this? This is something that happened right in your community?”

 

Chris Burkey

“I am just angry. I don’t know how to process it. I doesn’t make sense. I am just angry and heartbroken.”

 

Reporting for News Five, I’m Andrea Polanco.

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2 Responses for “Shaken San Pedranos Mourn Faye Lin Cannon”

  1. Annie says:

    I am so mad I want to scream. These degenerates need to be punished but then again the police – are better at arresting for a stick of weed than they are at doing their job of investigating crime and just plain doing their job – or maybe they don’t know how to do their job or they don’t care. They are part of the problem.
    We are so good at lamenting and talking about how we failed and we should have done more. There is obviously proof that there was something wrong. People heard them screaming all the time. Is this so normal that we look away? If you hear a dog crying you check to see if they are ok. I think the value of life in Belize is valued as that of a cockroach. There is a loss of caring and compassion and just being human.
    There is gross incompetence on the part of the social worker – need to be fired! Stop wasting taxpayer money on incompetence period. The police and anyone else this was reported to has the blood of this innocent child on their hands.
    How many more children are abused in Belize – by the same people professing to protecting them? I say to the leaders of this country DO SOMETHING! Start a hotline for reporting physical and sexual abuse and you will be amazed at what you will find out. Many parents look the other way too and pretend its not happening. Its a sick culture. Or as one of the ladies said she was told ‘you don’t want to open Pandora’s box.’ ! I say enough!!

  2. Marie says:

    Everyone that was notified of the abuse is criminally wrong, social services should have taken away these kids from the start. This is abuse in your face and nothing done. They should also face jail time and jobs taken away. The parents should get life without parole and put in the sun with water and bread.

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