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Jun 30, 2003

Double murder at caye has cops searching

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At around ten Sunday night a small skiff sputtered to a halt near the Tourism Village; it’s sole occupant bleeding profusely from a bullet wound to the jaw. But the dramatic arrival of a barely alive Alberto Gomez in Belize City was only the first act in a crime of monstrous proportions. Left behind at an isolated fishing camp were Alberto’s parents and ten month old son. As it turned out, Alberto was the fortunate member of the family. News 5′s Jacqueline Woods reports from the scene.

Jacqueline Woods, Reporting

When police arrived on the bloody scene they found the body of forty-one year old Salvadoran, Luis Alberto Cerna, lying motionless on a walkway. The body had several injuries that appear to be gunshot wounds to the head and back. A short time later, the police discovered the body of forty-year-old Guatemalan Milagro Barrientos Cerna floating in the water by a skiff with what also appeared to be a gunshot wound to the head. The only person authorities found alive at the scene was a ten-month-old baby boy. The baby’s father twenty two year old Guatemalan Alberto Gomez better known as Tiko, remains hospitalised in an unconscious state with a bullet wound to the mouth. Gomez’s girlfriend, Lilly, who is the baby’s mother, was the only person who was not home at the time of the killing.

Lilly, who is from Guatemala, says last Thursday, she went to visit her family in Melchor de Mencos and this morning returned to Belize, only to be told that Alberto’s parents had been killed.

Lilly, Girlfriend of Shooting Victim

“I don’t know why anyone would want to kill them because I don’t know them to get into trouble. I can’t explain why they were killed, I am still asking myself that.”

The family had moved out to the house that was used as a fishing camp located three and a half miles southeast of Belize City near the island called Stake Bank. Lilly recalls that the family did have a problem with a group of men known only as “Spanish” and remembers one time two years ago when the group attacked Cerna at the fishing cooperative.


“They use to come and camp around here and sometimes they would thief the products the family would set from around here. The only time I know Luis had problem with them is when they attacked him at the co-op about two years ago. Luis did make a report to the police. Other than that, I don’t know what other problems the family had, because they were an all right and cool family. They had no problem with anyone. They only use to work and go and deliver their product and come back and work again. And whenever they have the product they took it in.”

Some ten hours after the gruesome crime, the police and forensics investigators returned to the scene. It is not certain if the family was first attacked inside the house, but the debris found on the floor suggests that there may have been a struggle. Blood stains led to the connecting piers and faucets where it appears that someone tried to wash or drink. A lone red slipper belonging to Mrs. Cerna was also found on one of the piers.

Jacqueline Woods

“It is still not clear what was the motive for the attack and double homicide. Although the house was ransacked, it appears as if nothing was stolen. Luis, his wife Mila, and their son Alberto lived out here for the past three to four years and basically made money from fishing. Today authorities say they are investigating the incident from all angles.”

Jacqueline Woods for News 5.

While Alberto “Tiko” Gomez remains hospitalised in a critical condition.

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