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Oct 16, 2017

Erwin Rodriguez Laid to Rest after Remains Found Near Sea

Erwin Rodriguez

Tonight, seventeen-year-old Erwin Paulino Rodriguez was laid to rest at Eternal Garden Memorial Cemetery on the George Price Highway following a short graveside service. The last faint hopes of his family were dashed on Saturday afternoon. His mother Silvia was called by police to the seashore behind the Port of Belize, to the rear of Jane Usher Boulevard. There, a shallow grave held male human remains and belongings she identified to be those of her youngest son. He had sustained multiple gunshot wounds. The cause of his death was a suspected point-forty-five caliber bullet to the back of his head which came through his left temple, causing traumatic brain injury. Rodriguez had been reported missing since August twenty-fourth, 2017 and searches began almost immediately with limited police assistance. Now that Erwin remains have been found, the questions begin as to who wanted him dead and why, as Aaron Humes reports.

 

Aaron Humes

“It turned out that for all the searches conducted by his family, seventeen-year-old Erwin Rodriguez was not far from home. He was here, in a peaceful secluded spot near the sea. But how he got here is another matter altogether.”

 

Jose Espat, Search Team Lead

“I believe that you guys had a major part in this breaking of this case, the media, because you guys being there and you guys taking footage of the area; someone, the following day at approximately four-thirty, five, someone sent information of the exact site where the body was buried. The police called out Miss [Rodriguez]…”

 

Aaron Humes

“Someone saw our report the Friday night…?”

 

Jose Espat

Jose Espat

“Correct. And then probably they saw that we were very, very close. Actually, myself, Erwin’s brother, his sister, his aunt, we actually passed right over where he was buried. I also found a clear plastic with some blood droplets on it; it was about fifteen feet from where the body was found.”

 

Aaron Humes

“This was in an area where you had searched before, you’re telling me?”

 

Jose Espat

“Correct; this was an area we had searched. It was the same area we were searching on Friday. It’s the exact same area.”

 

Erwin’s mom, Silvia Rodriguez, has been the model of calm during these last seven harrowing weeks, but even she buckled just a little in describing how she got the news and what she found on the scene. She maintains, however, that this was the long-awaited closure she sought.

 

Silvia Rodriguez, Mother of Deceased

“It’s hard to talk about this, but yes, I thank the Good Lord that we find him so this come to an end. Police came to see me on Saturday, around five, and tell me that they find his body.”

 

Aaron Humes

“How were you able to identify that it was him?”

 

Silvia Rodriguez

Silvia Rodriguez

“By his clothes, his hair; and I knew it was him.”

 

Aaron Humes

“So what do you do now? We are awaiting the final examination, and then you lay him to rest and what happens next?”

 

Silvia Rodriguez

“Just to wait on the Good Lord’s justice only, and I know he gives us strength to continue living because I have more family to live for. And I thank everybody – first the Good Lord, then my pastor and church members, Mr. Jose Espat – if he wasn’t behind this, I would still be looking and [searching] for him.”

 

Erwin Rodriguez & Justin Hyde

As the Rodriguez family prepares to bury their youngest, more questions than answers remain. Are the deaths of Rodriguez and recent murder victim Justin Hyde linked? Who specifically wanted the teenager dead, and why? While police are still officially investigating, Espat shared his theory with us.

 

Jose Espat

“My take on it is that whosoever sent that information and knows exactly where that was has to be someone that knows much more than they are saying. So it would definitely be a person of interest. Based on the evidence that we have found prior and based on all the evidence and all the information that the residents and the neighbors of Port Loyola have been sending in anonymously, everyone there – it’s a small community; everybody knows everybody and they know what’s going on to the back. And I can assure you that the police also know who were perpetrating these types of crimes, and I also can assure you that Erwin is not the first murder to happen to the back there and Erwin will not be the last, unless the proper authorities take the necessary measures.”

 

Aaron Humes reporting for News Five.

 

Police have not announced any further details as to their investigation.

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