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Sep 3, 2018

Sherris Stringham is Found Dead; 3 Teens Charged with Her Murder

Sherris Stringham

It was a crazy weekend in which the blood spilled across the city and elsewhere. As many as seven persons were murdered beginning on Friday in one of the most violent periods. Aside from the homicides there were shootings, a home invasion, fatal traffic accidents and other acts of violence.  The killing spree started in Belize City and we’ll come to that.  But we start the newscast with the murder of sixty-seven-year-old Sherris Stringham.  The body of the missing U.S. national from Hopkins was found stashed under a bridge along the Stann Creek Valley Road and police say that three teenage boys did it.  They have since been arrested and charged and arraigned today before the courts. The alleged culprits, all residents of Hopkins Village, have been remanded to prison. Stringham went missing more than a week ago; her Xterra SUV was discovered abandoned in northern Belize and a few days later the trio took police to where the body was found. News Five’s Andrea Polanco shares more in the following report.

 

Andrea Polanco, Reporting

On Friday night, sometime after eleven, Sherris Stringham’s body was found here – under this bridge between miles seventeen and eighteen along the Stann Creek Valley Road – many miles away from where she lived in Hopkins village. Stringham went missing last Saturday – August twenty-fifth – that’s the last time her friends heard from her and she was last seen riding her moped in the village. She was missing for almost a week until her decomposing body was discovered. It is alleged that three teens from Hopkins village killed her and dumped her body here. But when the cops caught up with them, they reportedly took police to the spot where they had hidden the body. Laurene Holcomb is a friend who had spent the Friday with Sherris.

 

Laurene Holcomb

Laurene Holcomb, Friend of Sherris Stringham

“Friday, she was here playing cards with us girls. The other girls had left and she was the last one to leave because we were talking about her house design and things like her going back to the States to get her container ready to come. And I was just typical friend warning her to be careful and asking if she needed anything for her trip – that kinda stuff.”

 

And so when Sherris never showed up to join friends for a scheduled outing last Sunday, they became worried. They couldn’t get her on the phone, so they showed up at her house – a place she had been renting on the north end of the village. And when they arrived there they realized something was wrong – the house was ransacked, her empty wallet was lying on the counter and neither Sherris nor her vehicle was anywhere to be found.

 

Laurene Holcomb

“At first, I thought that maybe it was something; maybe something happened to her son or daughter in the States and she just had to go really fast. That was my hope, you know, that something had happened to a loved one somewhere. And then – after a while I knew that – with all the other things coming forward that something bad happened.”

 

Last week. police found Sherris’ vehicle, this SUV, near the bypass in Orange Walk – a long way from her Hopkins home. The vehicle’s license plate and insurance sticker were taken off.  But there was still no sign of Sherris. Friends searched for her all across Hopkins – but they never found her. It is perhaps the last place her family and friends imagined she would disappear. She has been in Hopkins for a little over a year and half – moving back and forth between her Missouri home in the U.S.A. She fell in love with the sleepy, little fishing village – and decided she would relocate here after she retired from her bus driving job in the States.  And when she did – not only did she fall in love with Hopkins, but Hopkins fell in love with her sunny disposition and sweet spirit.

 

Carl Holcomb

Carl Holcomb, Friend of Sherris Stringham

“Just always happy, bubbly. Like my wife mentioned, she had gone through a stressful period here just trying to get her house the way she wanted it and windows here and walls there. And so that is when I kinda got to know her good a few weeks ago of working on her prints, measuring things out and doing a few re-designs. But she would come here and play cards with the women and was just a very pleasant lady. You always see her at the store, on her scooter riding around town or just smiling, happy, adventurous. I mean, she is a sixty-seven year old woman and she would get on her scooter and head off twenty-five minutes down to Dangriga or to Placencia which is an hour by car. And she just loved to hike, liked the outdoors. Just a beautiful person.”

 

And perhaps it was Sherris’ trusting nature that made her a target in Hopkins. Her friends say that she was very friendly and trusted everyone met. News Five understands that the killers went to burglarize Sherris’ house that Saturday but she was inside. And it is alleged that after the suspects took what they wanted, they killed her because she knew who they were.

 

Carl Holcomb

“You can’t find fault in her, except maybe being too naïve and unassuming. And maybe too friendly at times where she should back off a little. And she has been warned by locals and so forth. You know, you just can’t trust everybody. But she was just that type of person that she didn’t see fault in people, she just saw good and sometimes that can be damaging.”

 

Laurene Holcomb

“Sherris was very trusting. When I was with Sherris in the car heading to some place with her, often she would stop and say ‘I’d just be a minute.’ And she would jump out of the car and be hugging somebody. Black, brown, white, poor, rich – that was Sherris – just knew everybody, loved everybody.”

 

Police have arrested and charged three teens of Hopkins Village for Sherris Stringham’s murder– they are eighteen-year-old Anthony Nunez, eighteen-year-old Wilhem Clayton Nunez and a sixteen-year-old boy.  It is a tragedy too difficult for her friends to process.

 

Carl Holcomb

“No reason to have any reason to think that she was wealthy or they would get that much. I think it is just flat out evil. I don’t know what else to say about it. Everybody is so fond of her. So many locals are so deeply touched by this loss. I just don’t see a reason why anybody would want to do her any harm whatsoever.”

 

Reporting for News Five, I’m Andrea Polanco.

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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4 Responses for “Sherris Stringham is Found Dead; 3 Teens Charged with Her Murder”

  1. Lee says:

    Damn low life criminals! This is a damn shame! These culprits are going around killing and robbing innocent people. Hang them from the nearest tree in a public forum and make an example out of them! As long as nothing is done, these hoodlums will continue to terrorize innocent people. SMDH…

  2. kriol_Chicken says:

    They should hang these 3 boys by the neck until dead in the center of Hopkins.

  3. Edward Tobin says:

    Wow — they’re black. Go figure.

  4. Fungus says:

    Black and stupid and young, the common rap sheet for killers in belize. Bring in trump to belize.

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