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Apr 3, 2018

Dristen Reyes of Teakettle Betrayed near Birthday

Dristen Reyes

In western Belize, two persons were also murdered in separate violent crimes. A twenty-one-year-old Teakettle villager was reported missing by his family on Wednesday and two days later, his body was found not far from the village in Camalote Village, Cayo. He had been shot to the head and buried in a shallow grave. But did Dristen Reyes lose his life over stolen horses and did he know his killers? Police say they have three persons detained in connection with Reyes’ murder. News Five’s Andrea Polanco reports.

 

Andrea Polanco, Reporting

Dristen Reyes went missing a day before his birthday – and two days later he was found buried on a remote farm in the Roaring River area in Camalote Village. The twenty-one-year-old was in Roaring Creek village on Wednesday but he never returned home to Teakettle. His family received a phone call that his body was somewhere in this area just outside of the golf-course. A search party found Reyes’ decomposing body inside a shallow grave around ten on Friday morning. He had been shot to death. His sister Mallory Reyes says it appears that he was tortured before he was murdered.

 

Mallory Reyes, Sister of Murder Victim

“They beat him. They drag him from his neck and his foot with a horse back here. Well, we know a horse was involved with it because the horse poo is still over there as evidence. They dragged him from his foot. They shoot him in his head and knocked out the teeth out of his mouth.  They bruk up his teeth inna his mouth. They beat ah inna his face. Bruk up his ribs. They tortured [him] and had him kneel down to them. Because when we found him in the shallow grave yah, I nuh even recognize my bredda. I recognize him because of the tattoo. The officer ask if this dah my bredda and I tell him no that dah nuh my bredda. I gone and I dig around it myself. They give me gloves and a thing fi my nose and I dig and I see the tattoo. It peel off when I do so, it peel off.”

 

But who wanted Dristen Reyes dead? His family believes that he was killed by those closest to him – including his best friend.

 

Mallory Reyes

Andrea Polanco

“These people who killed him, do you believe that these are people he knew?”

 

Mallory Reyes

“Yes, ma’am. Yes. They are people we know. We know all of themThey know that we know them.  We know because it is his own best friend – weh he call his best friend – did it to him.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“Was he seen in Roaring Creek Village at any point with any of these persons you suspect killed him?”

 

Mallory Reyes

“Yes, ma’am. We know.  This is why I say maybe he hang with the wrong crowd and they get to find out that he is a soft person. They do stuff and he is at the place at the wrong place at the wrong time with them and so they gotta kill him. It is either they kill him or they go to jail, so, they killed him.”

 

But why would Reyes’ best friend kill him? According to his sister, it may have been to silence him because of a crime that was committed. It is not clear if nor to what extent Reyes was involved – but his family has received information that his death may be connected to some stolen horses.

 

Mallory Reyes

“I heard a lot of rumors that they kill my bredda because of some horse. Some horses were stolen and sold and that they give him some money for the horse. I think that is why they beat him because they probably want back the money for the horse.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“What could have gone wrong between Dristen and his best friend? Did they have any dealings in the stolen horses?”

 

Dristen Reyes

Mallory Reyes

“Well, I don’t know. I just heard it was the police saying that it was because of the horse thing. That is just the rumors that I hear, but I don’t know. But maybe it got to do something with money.”

 

The Reyes family says that they are being threatened by the killers.

 

Mallory Reyes

“Early around two-thirty when they come home they see the window bruk up. They come and show signs that they wah come back because the family is a big family. But we just want them to know  that we wah leave it like that and leave it to God fi mek  God tek justice fi ihself.”

 

Reporting for News Five, I’m Andrea Polanco.

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