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Jan 29, 2018

Who Wanted Jermaine “Onion” Hyde Dead?

Jermaine “Onion” Hyde

A Hattieville resident was the second murder victim for the weekend. Jermaine Hyde aka “Onion’’ was executed on Saturday morning here in the city. Hyde was last seen alive in the area of the Swing Bridge buying his favorite tacos.  His body was found on Thurton Lane with a single gunshot to the head. Bernadette Longsworth woke up to the worst news a mother wants to hear; Hyde’s co-workers at the Department of Transport, were equally stunned.  Police are piecing together a possible motive to this pre-dawn murder. News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports.

 

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

By all accounts, at least on the strength of his colleagues’ word, Jermaine Curtis Hyde, known amongst them as Onion, had no recognized enemies.  Since being rehired a little over a year ago by the Department of Transport, he had been dedicated to his job at the bus terminal here in Belize City.  On weekends when he was not on duty, he spent time socializing at the Lodge Hall on Regent Street.  In the early hours of January twenty-seventh, shortly before five a.m., Hyde’s stock-still body was discovered just around the corner.

 

Alejandro Cowo

ASP Alejandro Cowo, O.C., C.I.B., Belize City

“Police were called to Thurton Lane where upon arrival they observed the motionless body of a male person lying face down with an apparent gunshot wound to the head.  The person was identified as Jermaine Curtis Hyde, a thirty-six-year-old Belizean of a Hattieville address.  The investigation has shown that Mr. Hyde had just left from the tacos place which is located by the Swing Bridge and was heading towards Thurton Lane when he was suddenly approached by an unknown male person who fired one single shot at him causing the fatal injuries.”

 

Arlene Banner, his co-worker for the past eight years, was at work when an officer showed up to inquire about Hyde.

 

Arlene Banner

Arlene Banner, Co-worker of Deceased

“Saturday morning, me and my co-worker were sitting out there and a police mobile came by and they asked her if she knows anybody named Onion.  So she neva know, so she turn round and she seh Ms. Banner, who da Onion?  Ah tell ahn, Mr. Hyde.  So she seh, no Ms. Banner.  Ah seh yes, da Mr. Hyde.  So the guy, the police guy said, “Can I speak to you a minute?”  Ah seh sure.  Ih seh, weh di guy name?  Ah tell ahn Hydey we know ahn as.  Hydey all ah we call ahn as.  Ih seh okay, ih seh could you identify ahn to me?  Ah seh yes, Mr. Hyde kinda slim, brown skinned and kinda tallish, noh too short.  Ih seh okay then.  That was it, he didn’t say anything else and he drove off.”

 

Moments earlier, Hyde’s mother, Bernadette Longsworth, had been roused out of her sleep with news that her son had been killed.

 

Bernadette Longsworth

Bernadette Longsworth, Mother of Deceased

“Di police call me afta four and give me the information that they have and they asked me if he is my son because they found a dead body of a male person with a gunshot wound in the back of his head and that’s all I knew.”

 

Regrettably, that’s just about all investigators know as well, aside from Hyde’s routine of purchasing fast food from vendors at the foot of the Swing Bridge.

 

ASP Alejandro Cowo

“Up to now we do not have anything to point out, to say that he belonged to any gang or he was involved in any illegal activities that may have contributed to his death.”

 

Bernadette Longsworth

“I have never had a problem with my son with the law.  From he was a child, to this moment, I never had, nobody had to come to my door for none of my kids and I thank God for that.  But right now, all I want is peace.”

 

But why would Onion be marked for death?  It’s a question that remains unanswered for the time being.  According to Banner, he was scheduled to arrive at work ahead of his 11:30 shift on Saturday.

 

Arlene Banner

“He noh miss work.  If ih wahn work di night shift, he noh miss.  If ih wahn work di late night shift weh wahn be like four-thirty to like seven-thirty da mawnin he no miss neither.  He always punctual pan work so far as I see it.  When ih get ih day off and if he gwein da lodge hall, he gwein da ih lodge hall.  But once he di work, he di work.  I noh know he as somebody weh wahn miss work fi just go out just like that.”

 

Police are no closer to cracking this case, as they have very little to go by. Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

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