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Dec 28, 2017

The Chilling Death of Kimberley Stephens in Placencia

Kimberley Stephens

The chilling death of Kimberley Stephens in Placencia Village has left the peninsula in shock. The American national owned a home in Maya Beach and visited Belize regularly. She resided in Washington where she worked in the seismic field. Stephens arrived in Placencia on December sixteenth but no one saw or heard from her in Maya Beach. They only found out that she was in the country when her body was discovered in a vacant lot off the Placencia Road. Her neighbors and friends are now asking anyone to come forward with information they may know about her death or whom she may have been in company with before she was killed. On Wednesday, they told us that they are still in shock and are asking why and who did it.  Andrea Polanco has more from those who were closest to her while she visited Belize.

 

Andrea Polanco, Reporting

Fifty-five-year-old Kimberley Lin Stephens was strangled – killed with a cell phone cord. The American national’s decomposing body was found here off the Placencia road – it was lying behind this gray SUV – a rental she picked up the day she arrived in Placencia – Saturday, December sixteenth. The manager, who declined interview on Wednesday, says that Stephens has rented from them about three times before. He said that she seemed normal and everything appeared fine that day when they picked her up from the airstrip in Placencia, off that first flight on Saturday morning. She came over to the rental company, collected the vehicle and left. But after that no one seemed to have seen her when she drove away from the car rental compound – a week later, on Saturday, December twenty-third, she turned up dead.

 

ACP Joseph Myvett, Head, National Crimes Investigation Branch

“Initial investigation reveals that Miss Stephens arrived in Placencia sometime on the sixteenth of December where she rented a vehicle. And so far, that has been the last time that she was seen alive. On site postmortem conducted revealed that she died from strangulation by ligature which also require further investigation into the findings.”

 

Reporter

“Can you say if there was anything unusual in respect of the vehicle inside? Was it ransacked?”

 

ACP Joseph Myvett

“No. There was no ransacking of the vehicle her personal belongings was intact inside the vehicle.”

 

Joseph Myvett

Reporter

“But an item believed to have been used like he wire or whatever was found near to suggest what has been named?”

 

ACP Joseph Myvett

“A telephone card or the charging card of a telephone was found wrapped around her neck.”

 

Stephens’ murder has shocked the expat community here in Maya Beach. Her two good friends who also happen to be her neighbors, Dan and Jill Osburn, say they have more questions than answers. According to the Osburns, Stephens has been back and forth to Belize. Her last trip was about a month ago.But for this trip, no one saw her not even her friends or neighbors – they didn’t even know she was back in Belize – and according to the neighbors it appears she never even made it to her house.

 

Dan Osburn, Friend & Neighbour

“It is crazy, you know.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“Do you think she was killed by someone she knew?”

 

Dan Osburn

Dan Osburn

“There is no telling around here. It could well be. She was a trusting person. Maybe she was returning or she had a bunch of money on her. I don’t know. But it seems odd. I don’t know. I don’t know. It seems odd. The whole situation is [shakes head].”

 

Andrea Polanco

“Dan and Jill, when was the last time you saw her or spoke with her or have a conversation?”

 

Dan Osburn

“Just before she went back to the states in November for her job.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“Did she say she was coming back in December to Belize?”

 

Dan Osburn

“Oh yeah, she was coming back.   She was coming back. She was happy. She was gonna do two weeks here and then six weeks at her new job. I don’t even think she made it here when she got back.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“So, you didn’t see her at all this time?”

 

Dan Osburn

“Nobody did. Nobody did. Not even the neighbors or nobody. We all have been talking about it.”

 

Stephens reportedly returned to finalize the sale of her home – which the signs planted in front of the house, points to. Her neighbors say that it doesn’t appear that her house has been broken into. But they say she once had vehicle here at her place but now it is nowhere to be seen.

 

Andrea Polanco

“Jill, do you know if she was selling her home? Did she tell you guys what was going on?”

 

Jill Osburn, Friend & Neighbour

“Yes. She was selling it. It is under contract. But we don’t know who.”

 

Dan Osburn

“She never usually rented vehicles. So, nobody knew a thing.”

 

Jill Osburn

Jill Osburn

“She had her own and her own is actually missing. I don’t know where her own vehicle is.  She had a little mini-van that was hers.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“And that was there in November when she left?”

 

Jill Osburn

“Mhmmm [shakes head].”

 

The Osburns describe Stephens as friendly and easy going. They say she got along with everyone in the neighborhood.

 

Dan Osburn

“She was just a friendly, happy person and too trusting, obviously. She used to walk around here by herself all the time. Nothing ever happened. She ride her bike or she would borrow someone’s car.”

 

Jill Osburn

“We also go play and cut flowers.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“And you spent last Christmas together, so I imagine you have a good friendship?”

 

Dan Osburn

“Yes. With other neighbors around here, too, a whole bunch of us right up there in that house. She is greatly missed. She is such a great, great person and this is so sad.”

 

Jill Osburn

“She was just a good soul. She went out to pick flowers everywhere. She just jumped around happy, happy.  [Crying]”

 

Reporting for News Five, I’m Andrea Polanco.

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3 Responses for “The Chilling Death of Kimberley Stephens in Placencia”

  1. spike says:

    Belize really isn’t the paradise it’s cracked up to be. Don’t buy real estate here.

  2. Mike Green says:

    This is bad . . real bad in so many ways. What is the world coming to? This shit has to stop! NOW! Let’s now hope that the PD does a professional investigation and doesn’t just give up.

  3. Tim says:

    Belize has so much potential but will not realize it unless the government steps up. What’s how quickly tourism and all the jobs related to it disappear. Let’s get serious.

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