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Feb 26, 1998

Pererra?s death no accident, police

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It’s a crime that has shocked the neighborhood, an elderly man beaten to death in his own home on the northside of Belize City just a stone’s throw away from the Eastern Division Police Station. Neighbors say the last time Everaldo Martinez Pererra was seen alive was on Monday morning as he made his customary journey to early morning mass at Holy Redeemer Cathedral. Tonight his brutal death has become the focus of an intense police investigation that has so far turned up little in the form of answers.

Less than twenty four hours after he was found dead inside his home, seventy seven year old Everaldo Martinez Pererra was buried early this afternoon at Lord Ridge Cemetery. But as Pererra was being laid to rest, police were back at number fifty six Daily Street, trying to solve the mystery of his gruesome death. Assistant Inspector of Police, Simeon Alavarez, says Pererra?s body was found lying in a fetal position on his bathroom floor and in a pool of blood. The partially decomposed body, which was fully clothe, was wrapped in a sheet. Alvarez says because of the decomposition, they could not immediately observe any visible signs of external injuries; but a post mortem examination this morning confirmed that Pererra’s death was no accident – he was beaten to death.

AIP Simeon Alvarez, Head of CIB

“The forensic, Doctor Estradabran conducted a post mortem examination and the conclusion of the post mortem or the cause of death is from a injury that he received to the head, apparently with a blunt instrument.”

The pathologist says Pererra was struck twice in the head. Neighbors recall hearing a loud scream coming from inside the victim’s house around midday on Monday. One woman who prefers not to be identified told News Five that she was preparing lunch when she first heard a loud cry.

Neighbor 1

“Monday, I was in the kitchen cooking downstairs here, no. I and after eleven going to twelve so, I hear a bawling like somebody the bawl and mek lot of noise, wah, wah and when I come outside, I come in the yard and I say I no hear or see nobody, so I tell my ma, I say you no hear somebody the bawl cross a the house mommy? She say yes. Well I tell ah, I no know if they kill the man, I just hear a bawling and then I just hear something drop, like a rumbling in a kitchen and I just hear, and I no hear the person bawl no more.”

The neighbor says because she is accustomed to hearing similar noises in the area, did not bother to investigate. Even patrons at the bar at the corner of the street report hearing the painful screams.

Neighbor 2

“I mi have a customer whey mi the drink in the club, there in my mother’s club, and I talked with the police, C.I.B. and I talked to the nephew and I tell the nephew to ask the young man if he never hear how the man mi the bawl over there and he stopped the car and he asked the same guy and he say yes, he hear the big bawling.”

One person who may have heard or seen something is this woman – Silvia del Carmen Ortiz who works as a baby-sitter for the only female tenant of the residence. While only a wall separates her workplace from Pererra’s house, when asked to say what she saw or heard, Ortiz said she did not hear anything as she had the television on. She was questioned by police Wednesday night but stuck to her story. The police, however, are not buying it and say the only reason why she hasn’t been detained for further questioning is because she is pregnant.

AIP Simeon Alvarez

“If she is as close as possible to where Mr. Pererra was and then a neighbor far way from her location can hear, we are of the belief that yes, she did hear, but apparently at this time she is hiding something from the police and she will be further interviewed.”

The police have detained three of Pererra’s tenants from the lower flat for questioning. While police do not know at this time if any of the detainees is responsible for the murder, they do suspect that the victim knew his killer. According to Alvarez, there were no signs of forced entry and nothing seemed out of place.

AIP Simeon Alvarez

“There were no sign of break-in to the premises of Mr. Pererra, other than that was made by his tenant to see whether he was alive. So we at this stage is of the belief that the person gain entrance openly, apparently with his permission.”

Alvarez says they first became aware of the incident when one of the tenants, Juan Joaquin Hernandez, a thirty two year old Salvadoran reported that he became concerned after he did not see his landlord for two days? and it was only after a swarm of house flies were seen buzzing outside Pererra?s bathroom window, that they feared the worst and called in the police. But the irony is that neighbors believe one of the same tenants may be responsible for Pererra’s death.

Neighbor 1

“Because listen to me, I the cross here the hear a bawling. They have so much of them live over there and they no hear no bawling? and I live over this side? If I live in a house like that, and I hear a bawling, definitely I would go and see what happen to the man that own the house, right? But they say, they no hear no bawling.”

While the police have not pinned down a motive for the killing, one theory from neighbors is that Pererra’s alleged habit of entertaining young Hispanic men in his home may have something to do with his brutal death.

Among those detained by Police is Juan Joaquin Hernandez, the man who made the call to police alerting them of the discovery of Pererra’s body. Although the two have not been linked, this latest killing seem similar to one last year involving a prominent Belize City businessman.

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