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May 30, 2008

Double murder in Bermudian Landing said to be drug related

Story PictureWhen the village of Bermudian Landing is mentioned on this newscast it is usually in connection with cricket, a sport which thrives in the green pastures of the Belize River Valley. Tonight, however, it is the emerging national pastime of homicide that has the area in the headlines. News Five’s Marion Ali reports.

Marion Ali, Reporting
The double murder occurred sometime around eight on Thursday night at this house occupied by Emerson Wade in the quiet village of Bermudian Landing. Wade was not at home at the time but several others were. The three gunmen who reportedly arrived in a white car shot two of those people while the others ran for their lives. The attack has left the community shocked and the police searching for clues. Officer in Charge of Ladyville and its surroundings, Inspector Calbert Flowers, said they arrived to find a gruesome scene.

Insp. Calbert Flowers, O.C., Ladyville and surrounds
“Police proceeded out to this location, to this residence here in Bermudian Landing where they found the lifeless body of a male person lying on the ground with what appears to be a single gunshot wound the left side of his head. Information was later gathered also that there was another gunshot victim from this area at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. The body on the ground was later identified as one Maurice Banner. Another team went to Belize City and upon arriving at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, again they found the lifeless body of a female later identified as Karen Crawford with what appeared also to be a single gunshot wound to the back of her head.”

Nineteen year old Karen Crawford was the girlfriend of Emerson Wade, who occupied the house. While police would not speculate that he is the man the three gunmen were looking for, Crawford’s mother, Rose Sanchez says justice must be swift for the killers who took the life of her loving daughter.

Rose Sanchez, Mother of Karen Crawford
“Dat dah wah coward punk weh shoot she eena ih head back. She da wah gial. Yoh noh do woman execution style eena deh head back. I just want dehn find dehn before I find dehn, only dat I got fi seh. Because if I find dehn dah wah total different thing.”

Sanchez says Crawford had just called her recently evening to tell the family she loved them.

Rose Sanchez
“She just call yesterday evening afta four, minutes to five and ih ask if ih could talk to ih lee bredda and I tell ah I never deh yah. Ih mi deh cross ah di people di people di do some homework and she seh tell mi sister I love ah and tell mi bredda I love ah and she prolong pan tell dehn I love ah and I never question why. She seh if you feel alright, if yoh pressure deh high and sugar, whatever and she jus seh bye ma, I have to go cause ih di look fi rain and I noh want mi asthma start pan mi. When ih don seh ih noh want ih asthma start pan ah ih seh jus rememba fi tell mi lee bredda I love ah cause dat dah di only bredda I got and she gone.”

Also shaken by the killings was Windell Banner, the brother of the other murder victim, forty-four year old Maurice Banner. Both brothers lived together in Lemonal Village, eight miles away from the crime scene.

Windell Banner, brother of Maurice Banner
“Some people mi deh round deh and deh tell me mi bredda mi di sit down pan di veranda by Wade place, by Emerson place and he was keeping the young lady company until he return from gone out and… While that was going on, I heard wah fellow seh he saw two person come pan di veranda and he see somebody with a gun eena ih hand and ih crank up di gun and he turn back and run. When he reach bout fifty, sixty yards he hear di gun gone off. Ih hear di gun shoot three rounds. Returning after di shooting, he si mi bredda lying down dead.”

Banner feels his brother was at the wrong place at the wrong time.

Windell Banner
“I believe he was looking for someone else but he was in the area at the time noh, so because he no have no problem with nobody no time, dah wah easy person.”

Marion Ali
“What was he doing at the house?”

Windell Banner
“He working for someone in the village so he was waiting for that person to come back and that same time the incident occur. I believe it’s drug related thing and deh no want no information reveal noh, only that I believe they shot him, because he noh do .nobody nothing.”

Police are also pursuing this theory and while they have no leads, they are depending on neighbours and key people who were reportedly at the scene to help piece together the puzzle.

Insp. Calbert Flowers
“We are unable to contact any other persons that were at the scene. The only two persons that we gathered so far that were at the scene are the two deceased so we are seeking other witnesses, people with information who we believe can help us. At this time we have no suspects, no suspect at all.”

Marion Ali
“So where does the investigation take you now?”

Insp. Calbert Flowers
“Well, we are trying to find at least two other persons who we understand were in the area who maybe can give us more information.”

Up to news time, police had not yet located the occupant of the house, Emerson Wade, nor had they made any arrests. Reporting for News Five, Marion Ali.

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