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Oct 1, 2018

Pair of Severed Legs Discovered in Ontario; is it that of Missing Teen?

Gerardo Vasquez

Two severed legs were retrieved from the Belize River over the weekend. The gruesome discovery was made on Saturday by Coastguard and police search parties scouring the area of the river at Warrie Head and further downstream.  Since Friday, residents of Ontario had been conducting searches after a teen from the village went missing on Tuesday.  At news time, police have not been able to confirm whether the mutilated limbs are those of Gerardo Vasquez, but the family is bracing for that possibility. There is speculation that if the missing teen was murdered, it was a hate crime. News Five’s Duane Moody reports.

 

Duane Moody, Reporting

A pair of severed lower legs was discovered over the weekend in Ontario Village, Cayo District. The discovery was made by police and coastguard following a report that a leg was seen floating in the river.

 

Joseph Myvett

ACP Joseph Myvett, Head, National Crimes Investigation Branch

“On Wednesday last, police received a missing person report in relation to one Gerardo Vasquez, seventeen-year-old of Ontario Village, who his mother reported last seeing on Tuesday, the twenty-fifth sometime around eleven a.m. As a result from since Wednesday when the report was made, searches were being conducted on land, however, late Friday evening, information was received just before nightfall that a human leg was seen floating in the river somewhere in the area of Warrie Head, which is near Teakettle Village. As a result, on Saturday, search teams were gathered and then started searching the river where shortly after ten a.m., one human leg that was cut just above the knee was found in the area of Warrie Head. Further searches in the area of Chaya Maya, which is further downstream, where another leg was discovered.”

 

A post-mortem was conducted today on the legs but from an initial inspection, there are signs of stab wounds on the right leg. Assistant Commissioner of Police says that they are looking at all angles including that of a homicide; however, it is not known if the legs are that of the missing Ontario resident, seventeen-year-old Gerardo Vasquez.

 

ACP Joseph Myvett

“Those scenes were processed where the legs were taken to the Western Regional Hospital. I believe the right leg was examined where several small stab wounds were seen on the right leg.”

 

Reporter

“Is there anything from the parts that were found that would either point to Gerardo Vasquez or disqualify him?”

 

ACP Joseph Myvett

“At this point in time, we will not be able to say whether or not there is any connection; however, these parts that were found will definitely go through the process. They will require DNA testing in order to see if they can be compared to the missing Gerardo Vasquez.”

 

Gerardo Vasquez

Family and friends of the Vasquez have been searching for days since he went missing last Tuesday from his house in the village.

 

Voice of: Godwin Castillo, Friend of Deceased

“She went to leave food for the kids; they don’t live far from the village. I’m not sure how far away is the school. She told Gerardo to go for the kids around three. She came back early because from school, she went to Belmopan to do some errands. And when she came back, Gerardo was not at the house; his bike was missing and his shoes was right there. He dint take his shoe or anything, so he was barefoot.”

 

Godwin Castillo says that Vasquez was a volunteer at the Belize Wildlife and referral Clinic. While he never complained of having any problems, residents in the village told News Five today that his step brother had threatened his life. News Five confirmed today his step brother was detained, but later released, pending further investigation. Castillo says that his phone is turned off and was traced in Pine Ridge area.

 

Voice of: Godwin Castillo

“It has been six days today since he has been missing. We do not want to accept that he is dead. We are aware that the police has found body parts along the river bank not far from his village, but we are still hopeful that he is alive.”

 

Duane Moody

“Is there anything to believe that it is possibly him because we’re understanding that there is at least one report coming out that someone had said that they were going to kill him?”

 

Voice of: Godwin Castillo

“Yes that is one o the things. And somebody traced his phone—I don’t wanna say who it is—but they were able to trace his phone and they pinned the phone to somewhere in Pine Ridge.”

 

Police are looking at several leads including that Vasquez may be a victim of a hate crime. Duane Moody for News Five.

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