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Aug 8, 2018

British Filmmaker, Richard Foster, Found Stabbed to Death

Richard Foster

Shockwaves were felt across the conservation and film industry communities after it was learned that the body of seventy-four-year-old Richard Foster was found on Tuesday night. The well known British filmmaker had been brutally stabbed and his body was dumped in the Rivera area of Belmopan. The gruesome discovery was made at around eight o’clock by one of the residents who saw the corpse near a creek in the area. Foster disappeared from his home at Savanna Guest House along the George Price Highway. His home had been ransacked and monies were stolen. His two firearms, a nine millimeter Smith and Wesson and a twelve gauge shotgun were also stolen. His Toyota pickup was later found in the Mahogany Heights area. All the evidence pointed to a brazen kidnapping which resulted in Foster’s demise. But who would want him dead? News Five Hipolito Novelo was in Belmopan today looking for answers.

 

Hipolito Novelo, Reporting

The life of seventy-four-year-old British Filmmaker, Richard Foster, came to a shocking and tragic end on Tuesday. His body was found in the Rivera area of Belmopan, less than a day after being kidnapped from his home at Savanna Guest House on the George Price Highway.

Foster’s body was found by a resident of the area who told News Five that the corpse was seen dumped near the creek. According to the eyewitness, Foster was without a shirt. He was wearing a pair of pants only. That unnamed individual says that he observed Foster’s body with several stab wounds. This was confirmed by an official police report which also stated that injuries to Foster’s head were also observed.

Foster was abducted from his home sometime between Monday night and Tuesday morning. His Toyota Hilux pickup was recovered in the Mahogany Heights community in a bushy area near a water reservoir. Inside the vehicle, investigators found blood.

One of the last persons to see Foster alive is Javier Molina. He is the President of Belize Audio Visual Association. He worked closely with the Fosters. In fact, he was with them last week.  It was Carol who called Molina to share the terrible news.

 

Javier Molina

Javier Molina, Friend of Richard Foster

“When I first got the news, it was a text message from Miss Carol. I knew she was away seeking medical attention. The text message was basically ‘Javier did you know that Richard is missing and they robbed our house’. I was shocked. I mean they have been living in that location for so many years. I thought it was peaceful. I am sure they thought it was safe there. I was just seriously in shock.”

 

….and that shock is being felt across the conservation and film industry communities.

Richard Foster was living alone for a few days. His wife, Carol, had recently left the country. They lived in Belize for more than three decades. Their home was open to everyone, as they lived in a sense of security from the 1970’s.

 

Javier Molina

“If you go to their home you will see that it is open. It is just things to keep out insects and bugs. There were no burglar bars. They lived, I guess in a time when Belize was just like that from the seventies. That is how they continued to live, in an open, free and safe environment. That is how they felt in Belize.”

 

In Belize, authorities are trying to figure out the two most important questions: Who killed Richard Foster and why? British High Commissioner, Peter Hughes, says he has been communicating with the Belize Police Department.

 

Peter Hughes

Peter Hughes, British High Commissioner

“The brutal murder of Richard Foster has come as a massive shock to the many people in Belize who knew him. This is a horrible crime. Our hearts go out to his family, particularly his wife Carol during this incredibly difficult time. We have been in close contact with the Belizean authorities throughout this and will continue to do so but I cannot say any more because there is an ongoing investigation at this time.

 

At this time, there are more speculations than solid facts. One strong speculation is that the Fosters were under surveillance.

 

Javier Molina

“I have a feeling that they were probably watching them. I mean, to do something like that they had to have an idea that these people were somewhat vulnerable. The fact that he was wearing a hearing aid and all of that. When we communicate I have to speak a little louder to him so  that hears what I am saying. They felt safe in Belize.”

 

Hipolito Novelo

“Why would any want to hurt this elderly man who really did no harm no anyone?”

 

Javier Molina

“There is absolutely no reason. If you knew Richard, you yourself would say that there is absolutely no, zero reason for someone to want to hurt this gentleman. He is open, he is friendly. He is giving. There is zero reason. Knowing him personally, there is zero chance that someone would have a grievance with this man.”

 

This man wasn’t an ordinary man. He gave plenty to the conservation and film industry communities.  His work in documenting the lives of jaguars was crucial in conservation programs.

 

Janelle Chanona

Janelle Chanona, Friend of Richard Foster

“He was certainly a giant in both the filmmaking industry as well as conservation efforts on a number of fronts. I certainly think that Belize is a little bit of a darker place now that we lost the light. His light has been snuffed out. It’s hard to imagine him being treated this way. Nobody deserves it. Certainly, I think for all us who knew him, worked with him, respected his work, and loved his work it’s really a very tragic loss to the nation. It’s hard to know how to feel about what he endured.”

 

Javier Molina

“I am really sad that something like this happened to such good people. There are so nice. They give of themselves freely. For something like this to happen to people like this, it’s shocking, it’s saddening, maddening and on a whole it’s a huge loss for the film industry in Belize and Belize on a whole.”

 

On the Phone: Tony Rath, Friend of Richard Foster

“Richard, as most people, is probably the finest, greatest wildlife photographer that lived in Belize. But more than that he was just a really good person. He helped people all the time. He was not afraid to give out information and teach people about photography. He had a real love for the outdoors and conservation. It is a great loss for Belize. My heart goes out to his wife Carol who is also a great wildlife photographer.”

 

And to the person or persons who brutally killed Foster:

 

Javier Molina

“You guys have no heart. This needs to stop. I don’t think what I want to say I can really say on TV. But seriously, they need to find love in their hearts because people who can do something like that have no love. It’s sad.”

 

Reporting for News Five, I am Hipolito Novelo.

 

Foster also worked closely with the Belize Zoo. This evening the zoo issued a statement which reads “We are forever grateful and honoured to have had Richard as part of our Zoo family; since TBZ’s inception, he was at the foundation and heart of this institution, and, through his camera lens, passionately shared our commitment to the protection of Belize’s wildlife and their habitats.” Carol and Richard had no children.

 

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