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Jan 30, 2002

Ireland’s body found; Fuentes sought by cops

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Ever since Mark Ireland disappeared from his Belmopan home over the weekend, hope that he would be found alive faded with each passing hour. Today, the worst fears of friends and family were confirmed. Janelle Chanona reports from the nation’s capital.

Janelle Chanona, Reporting

Just after 10:00 this morning, a joint BDF/Police search team combing through the bushes off this feeder road near the Hector Silva airstrip, discovered the body of twenty-eight year old Mark Ireland. He was found dressed in a red undershirt and brown pants. Co-workers from the Development Finance Corporation were the first to identify the body as that of their friend from gruesome police pictures. Family members at the scene tried to remain calm while planning his burial.

Up to newstime tonight, the official results of the autopsy have not been released but News 5 understands that as many as twelve deep stab wounds were found on Ireland’s body. Because a butcher knife is now believed to be one of the items stolen from his home, it is strongly suspected Ireland was murdered with his own blade.

While the search for Mark Ireland may be over, the motive for the crime is still under investigation. Reliable reports to News 5 are that just after 11:00 p.m. on Friday, as many as five people visited his home in suburban Belmopan. At approximately 11:50, bank records indicate that Ireland or someone with his pin number then came to this ATM and withdrew one hundred and fifty dollars. That was the last sign Mark Ireland was alive.

Since Ireland went missing five days ago, the murders of twenty-seven year old Anthony “Trigger” Adderley and twenty year old Deon Lewis and the attempted murder of thirty-six year old Joel Waight have been connected to his disappearance. Tonight News 5 has been made to understand that a young woman from Belize City may the link between all three men.

Police have now shifted the focus of their investigation to this man, Jermaine Fuentes originally of Roaring Creek Village, but until recently, a resident at Hattieville Prison. Ireland’s co-workers, though saddened by today’s discovery, are continuing to assist the police.

Omar Silva, Public Relations Officer, D.F.C.

“We are printing wanted posters, we have the person’s pictures that they are looking for, a suspect. And if the police don’t capture him within the next forty-eight hours, I believe our corporation is still thinking of offering a reward for the capture and conviction of this person.”

Reporting for News 5, I am Janelle Chanona.

In another update to this story, Ireland’s white Cherokee was found abandoned at the corner of Euphrates and Kut Avenue in Belize City. Contrary to other media reports, none of Ireland’s belongings were found inside.

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