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Sep 7, 2010

Children missing; business burned; local psychic didn’t predict charge

It’s day eight and the disappearance of two siblings from San Marcos, Toledo remains a mystery. Since Monday police have been scouring the area, but up to news time, there are still no solid leads as to what could have happened to Onelia and Benjamin Rash, two school aged children who went missing on August thirtieth. On Sunday, a group of angry villagers set ablaze a crocodile sanctuary owned by a US couple. This was fuelled by telltale predictions from a local psychic who has now been charged. The focus of the search for the Rash children has shifted to the arson of the sanctuary and the story has caught the attention of the international media. News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports.

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

benjamin rash

The ruins of what was once a million dollar investment developed to protect local crocodile species a few miles northeast of Punta Gorda Town remains under heavy police and military guard.  The American Crocodile Education Sanctuary, founded by Vincent and Cherie Rose, was reduced to ashes on Sunday by a gang of angry villagers in search of two missing children.  The busload of men armed with rifles and machetes entered the property on the advice of a soothsayer.  Despite not finding Benjamin and Oneila Rash they set the place ablaze.  The oracle however, has since led many to believe that the Roses absconded from the United States as fugitives of the law.  Vincent Rose has flatly denied those allegations.

oneila rash

Vincent Rose, Owner, ACES

“We didn’t move here running away from something.  We came here to help and to build a beautiful education facility and tourism facility for Toledo and that’s where we chose to move and build it all.”

But Rose did not get to enjoy the fruits of his labor.  Instead he has been tried in the court of public opinion for allegedly abducting the children to feed his crocodiles.  Rumors of his hatred for children have been spreading throughout the village of San Marcos like wildfire.

Marcos Choc, Resident, San Marcos Village

“Well I’m a tour guide and I work with these people and I spoke to Vince and Vince is a guy [who] told me that he hates children, he hates kids right.  So that is why I’m putting my; I’m saying that he’s the one doing it.”

Furthermore Rose has been found guilty by a jury of his peers for committing that crime simply based on a psychic reading.

vincent rose

Vincent Rose

“It’s the stupidest thing you ever heard of and so is how that [uh], how it came to be.  I guess it came from a psychic?”

That woman, forty-two year old Delfina Alvarez, has since been arrested and charged by Punta Gorda Police for the crime of pretending to be a fortune teller.  She has pleaded not guilty and was granted bail in the sum of one thousand, five hundred dollars.  The fine however, does not compare to the damage that has been done to Rose’s lifelong investment.

Vincent Rose

“They misunderstood everything.  They went on a wrong tangent and went against the law and as far as I’m concerned all they’ve done is done a terrorist act in your country Belize.”

The callousness with which the villagers destroyed Rose’s property has completely eclipsed the ongoing search effort to locate the missing children.  Today makes a week and a day and they have not returned home.  Assisting Punta Gorda police every step of the way is Senator Pulcheria Teul.

Pulcheria Teul

Senator Pulcheria Teul, Exec. Dir. Toledo Maya Women’s Council

“We have been working since Thursday morning with the police here in Punta Gorda [Uhm] especially with Mr. Mariano, the superintendent.  We have also made visits to the family in San Marcos in trying to give some comfort to the family and some reassurance that we will do everything possible to recover the children.”

Those efforts are yet to prove successful.  Punta Gorda police, over the past forty-eight hours have arrested and detained one individual whom they say had photographs of Benjamin and Oneila Rash on the day they went missing.  Further investigation however, could not confirm his involvement in their disappearance.  He has since been released.

The burning question for most has to be the reason why  these children were allowed to venture twelve miles away from home to sell fruits.

Pedro Rash, Father of Missing Children

“Well, I told them already, I told their mother that they don’t have to go again because school would be open Wednesday.  I told them start to prepare and pack your books but kids like they usually go from the market and sell noh.  But that is just the second time they come off from Hopeville and sell.”

Delfina Alvarez Selgado

Punta Gorda Police are investigating both the disappearance of nine year old Oneila and Benjamin Rash as well as the arson of American Crocodile Education Sanctuary separately and no closer to finding the children or the suspected arsonists. Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

Cherie Rose was vice president of the local Belize Tourism Industry Association chapter but resigned after she and her husband were forced to leave the Toledo District following death threats by angry villagers.  The B.T.I.A. today issued a press release expressing its unity with the Roses.  As such, the organization has established an account at the Belize Bank to assist in providing financial support for the displaced family.  Anyone wishing to make a donation can do so by making a deposit to Belize Bank account number 630-1-1-10130, the “Vince and Cherie Rose Fire Victim” account.

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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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169 Responses for “Children missing; business burned; local psychic didn’t predict charge”

  1. Gumby says:

    before you start posing on here you should really read and do some damn research! Seriously BZE Bway show us ANYWHERE, that Vince put down that he was a Biologist, he has never said that as for Cherie, go ahead check her out. all its going to do is make you feel like an idiot. as for ELGIN man you just make my day WAY to easy here. you want to talk about Vince “demonize an entire race for the actions of a few knuckle heads” and then 2 hours later your dumb @$$ post this”Zoomom: They are my Mayan boys we are all Belizeans” Vince was calling the people that took the law into their own hands and in his words “They burnt the wrong man’s house down” you on the other hand between your stupid comments and inability to keep track of your OWN story have lumpped yourself in with the group. We as American do consider the stupid people in our country “Savages” thats why we arrest them and throw them in cages. Timothy Mcvae is white and so am I, if you were to call him everyname in the book i wouldnt care, and why is that, could it be cause i know im not like him. so it doesnt bother me. you on the other hand took offense to the comment. so maybe you do have something to hide. you are constantly bashing Vince and his wife, why you know they had nothing to do with ANY of this they are inoccent bystanders. could it be you are trying to keep the focus off of YOU. you threathened Hal saying you and your Myan buddies were going to burn his house down. you are pathetic and worthless. It is extremly easy to throw out empty accusations about people, but its also extremly stupid. so ELGIN, ROD, NIK, BZE Bway, Here are some words of wisdom for you” wisdom is a gift you give yourself, for a life time of listening when you would have prefered talking”

  2. Elgin Martinez says:

    hal Spry:Havn’t you realize that you’e the most ignorant person on this forum?You’re so smart but yet your opinion is suppose to be the only one that count’s.Everyone is suppose to agree with you.By the way do you even have an argument?Guess what enough for the croc’s story.Let’s move on to something more important rod.It’s not even worth the time trying to reason with this dude.Let him take all his negative energy to start rebuilding his friend Vince place.Apparently he is more hurted than the Roses.Then maybe he needs to use his time finding out who burnt his boy’s house.

  3. misslady says:

    Macal R:all a uno stop behave like picni, di argue stupidness, no wonder dem people from outside call we savages, mein uno behave now.

    But Macal, if we shut we mouth we guen look like we too dumb fi defend weself. dis ya ting gat mi di dance jancunu all ova di net, man. E worry mi bad.
    Da no sum a unu come on ya all de time and talk bout tek u head outta sand and mi pipple unite? Den wen the Mayas stand up fi demself….den every wan condemn dem, whe kinna ting dat?

  4. Earl Grey says:


    But let’s be fair, where is the list of all the crimes and murders committed by blacks, and Latinos?

    If you cannot find it to list here, it is because the blacks has since then turned on their own race, just like what is happening in Belize today.

    MADDYVANDIJK/SURREALIST ………………………………………………..




    Sorry Elgin Martinez , I think you have lost your mind, really.


    “To answer another question; a Turkish national burnt down almost an entire block of Albert Street years ago for insurance money, he went to jail. I believe he served 15-25 years.

    After looking at the insanity, who will come forward to provide information on the disappearance of these children or this arson without fear of retaliation?

    Belizeans do not hate white folks. We hate rude, condescending folks who dare to call us names to our faces & clean it up with “Not the ones like you”. Burning down buildings have been a tactic used by angry mobs, terrorists, governments & individuals seeking financial or personal gain for almost as long as we have been able to control fire. The KKK bombed the church in Alabama, killed 4 or 5 children, “somebody” leveled the “Black Wall Street” in Oklahoma, a mob destroyed Rosewood, Florida, the Police burnt down an entire block of a black neighborhood in Philadelphia to serve a couple warrants. A group of citizens in Missouri killed a man described as a bully in the middle of the street at high noon & of the almost 100 people present, no one saw a thing because all of them were under the pool table when the shooting occurred. I won’t even comment on the Apes being our ancestors & other hate filled stuff making the rounds across the internet.”

  6. hal spry says:

    So nik, should they just forget about it. Or should they hope someone has to answer for it?

  7. misslady says:

    No, Hal Spry, everyone has to be held responsible for their part in this whole affair. The problem is that seems to exclude certain people because they were acting in good faith—according to their values and point-of-view.

    —Who is responsible for the property not being insured? WHO?

    —Who is responsible for crocs and growing baby crocs, leaving them unattended just when 2 children come up missing?

    —Who had the means to offer the villagers a boat/car to help search for the kids in an area where the whole village helps to raise kids.

    —Who is responsible for setting up a croc sanctuary without the involvement of the neighboring villagers? Who is responsible for the suspicions that then arise out of that lack of communication and commitment. If I move into your neighborhood, it would behoove me to get to know who I am living next to if I know that I am sinking my money into a project. Not the other way around.

    —Why another sanctuary anyway…we have the Bird Sanctuary and the Baboon Sanctuary, we have the Zoo. How much can a small country like Belize offer up for the sake of the earth? And why not put the sanctuary where it will be welcomed by animal lovers who are not afraid, have no prejudices and do not fear the crocs?
    —Whose decisions were these?

  8. BZNinCALI says:

    Thanks for using my quote but I believe it ended with ignorance being common to all groups & “Where are the children?”.

    FYI, the mob that killed the bully in Missouri, they & their victim were white. Blind hatred dictated the actions of the KKK in Alabama & Florida & it is believed that Government resources were used to bring down Greenwood, Oklahoma. That is no different from a bunch of villagers going to the Rose property armed with weapons & setting it on fire. What they all have in common is the destructiveness of mob rule.

    Don’t get it twisted, I do not see a potential murderer in every black man’s face in Belize no more than I believe that white men are looking for something other than white meat to round out their diet or that of their animals. As human beings, we were given the gift of language so that we can communicate. Use it before we go into murderous rages.

    Folks, our needs & diets are not that different but a white man promising to eat someone, may not mean what you think, we’re not dying from it.

    What the hell does Timothy McVeigh have to do with the mess in Toledo, his actions were politically motivated & his views were not reflective of the majority, in addition he was TRIED, CONVICTED & EXECUTED. The white people did not cover for him.

  9. josh says:

    mr maya man the father,,,, you so damn poor dat you have to let your children be breadwinners with you .. you outha be ashame of yourself… those young kids have no right selling.. you should have been di one making the moiney not your ppoor kids… but i dont knw… i think both parents should be charged for this.. because they shouldn’t allow kids to go sell esp from far… AND I DONT THINK THIS CROC MAN DID ANYTHING,,, IF HE DID NOT LIKE CHILDREN WOULDNT YOU THINK KIDS WOULD GO MISSIING FROM ALONG TIME AGO… BESIDES NOBODY IN THIER RIGHT MIND WOULD LEAVE EVEIDENCE… THAT MAN SHOULD TAKE ALL INVOLVE TO COURTH.. YOU MAYA PEOPLE INVOLVED HAD NO RIGHT NO BURN DOWN THIS MAN TWO HOUSE….. WHAT YOU SO YOU WILL REAP THATS Y YOU WONT SEE YOUR HEADWAYS… ….


    BZNinCALI, I realized that, I did intended to quote you also as a positive motivator to all the rubbish talk circulating the missing kids.

    The KKK, and Timothy McVeigh, etc is irrelevant to what happened to those kids, or the Roses house, I find it unfortunate of how much we miss in our ignorance.

    The kids are still missing……………light a candle.

  11. BZNinCALI says:

    Thanks for clarifying your intent Maddy, The KKK, McVeigh comments were in response to several other comments.

    The pettiness which sometimes seemed silly became annoying when race took precedence over common sense & concern for the children. The Rose home is replaceable, the children are not & as a Belizean who tries to stay abreast of what is going on in Belize & here in the states where I have lived for more than a generation, I believe it is important for Belizeans who have traveled & lived abroad to help to share what they have learned; good & bad. Prior to this generation we have never looked the other way when children were involved & as a parent it pissed me off that two small children were out there having Gods knows what being done to them & adults were on here talking about clothing, weight, hurt feelings & race.

    There are a lot of great things about Belize & our people which was getting lost in the mix. As a parent, I would want every boot on the ground looking for my children if they were missing & every child in Belize needs to know that the adults have their backs, maybe more, nothing less!

  12. hal spry says:

    Now that the search dogs have been over the property and found NO TRACE of the children having been on the property……it would seem that Vince was right. THEY BURNED DOWN THE WRONG MANS HOUSE. Now I watch to see if justice will be done for the Roses
    BZNinCALI says: The Rose home is replaceable,.
    Well who will pay restitution? Will any one ever be charged.
    Belize is being watched.

  13. hal spry says:

    It is obvious that the children were never there. The dog search has shown that the kids were never on the property. Who will pay for the property damage? Who will be charged with the crime of arson?

  14. hal spry says:

    I have just been told that the “villagers ” have gone to the PG Police and said they are going to Ambergris Cay and burn out Vince and Cherie Rose AGAIN.
    Why were they not arrested? Why have the PG Police not done a report on the arson? Who was the man who was detained and released , who had pictures of the children? The PG Police need to come up with some answers, because there are many questions.

  15. hal spry says:

    this is a copy of a letter I just sent to PG Police: My name is Hal Spry a long time friend of the Rose family. I have just been told that the “villagers ” have gone to the PG Police and said they are going to Ambergris Cay and burn out Vince and Cherie Rose AGAIN.
    Why were they not arrested? Why have the PG Police not done a report on the arson? Who was the man who was detained and released , who had pictures of the children? When will the much needed report be available?
    The PG Police need to come up with some answers, because there are many questions.
    This is my second attempt at communicating with the PG Police Department. I am forwarding a copy of this email to several news agencies as well as the many agencies involved. Hal Spry

  16. hal spry says:

    News on the ACES arson and murder of crocodiles:
    At this time Five crocodiles were found dead, hacked
    and slaughtered.
    And still no arrests.
    Still no police report.

  17. hal spry says:

    REWARD 12750 BZ .
    Here is a link to a reward fund for the Rash children,set up by an anonymous group. Please pass this information on , Maybe this will jog someones memory.

  18. hal spry says:

    Here is a link to a reward fund for the Rash children,set up by an anonymous group. Please pass this information on , Maybe this will jog someones memory.

  19. halspry says:

    Can someone give the PG Police a ride???
    Apparently the reason they can’t really investigate the arson is they have transportation problems.

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