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Apr 15, 1999

American retiree found murdered

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Earlier this week the police asked for the public’s help in locating Fredrick Hopkins a retired U.S. Army veteran. Today they made the sad discovery of his remains about seven and a half miles from where his car was found vandalized last Wednesday. News Five’s Hyacinth Latchman was on the scene this morning.

The decomposed body of sixty-two year old Fredrick Hopkins of Belize City was found this morning between Isabella Bank and Lemonal off a feeder road. Hopkins went missing April first and his vehicle was found last Wednesday at a bridge near Bermudian Landing. Charles Galvez of the Criminal Investigations Branch told us that from the moment they found the vehicle they knew something was wrong. He also told us a little about the deceased.

A.I.P Charles Galvez, C.I.B.

“I decided to do a canvassing from house to house and that was very successful because I found exactly where this person actually lived. When I went to the address I was informed by the landlord that the owner of the vehicle one Fredrick Hopkins was last seen at that address on the first of April. Right there and then I realized that this needed some investigation because I came to the conclusion that this person must have been kidnapped and killed. During my investigation I was informed of certain things and I followed that up and eventually yesterday a suspect was detained. And that suspect was interviewed vigorously by myself and other colleagues at the Criminal Investigations Branch and during the interview we learned several things and based on what we learned we proceeded right here where the corpse is.

My understanding is that he has been here since February of last year and he was doing delivery with plywood and other items throughout the country.”

The man who led the police to the decaying body is Edwardo Martinez who is also well known by the name Jeffrey Son. Martinez was picked up yesterday by Superintendent David Henderson. According to one of Hopkins’ friends, who was called to identify the body, Martinez kept calling his house last week telling him and his wife that he was sorry for what he had done. However, it was not known until later on that he was apologizing for killing the elderly man. Galvez told us that Martinez used to work with the deceased. Because of the condition of the body a postmortem had to be conducted right on the spot.

A.I.P Charles Galvez

“The doctor verified that he died from severe head injuries due to multiple fractures involving the left jawbone, the left side of the head and in the right back of the head caused by aheavy blunt object. Injuries were to his head only. The investigation revealed that he died from the first of April.”

According to police they do not know what is the motive for the murder. At this time their prime suspect is still Edwardo Martinez. Hyacinth Latchman for News Five.

Because of its deteriorated condition, Hopkins’ body had to be buried at the location where it was found. Police say that they will be conducting an identification parade tomorrow with thirty-four year old Edwardo Martinez and expect to make an arrest.

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