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Nov 5, 2012

Gayle Escarpeta, Youth for the Future employee, murdered

Gayle Escarpeta

Last week the security forces were expected to increase its presence on the streets and to implement a lockdown on crime ridden areas in the city. The move has not been implemented as yet and despite additional police presence in hot zones, a woman in her twenties was murdered. She was an employee of the Youth for the Future.  News Five Isani Cayetano reports on the city’s latest murder.

 

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

The brutal murder of twenty-seven year-old Gayle Escarpeta, who met her violent demise in a fusillade of bullets over the weekend, is the latest homicide in Belize City.  The pre-dawn drive-by took place on George Street, an area presumably classified as crime-ridden by the Ministry of National Security.  Despite the presence of heavily armed law enforcement officers across the Old Capital, a gang of criminals somehow managed to unleash terror on the occupants of this white Mazda Tribute.

 

The driver of the vehicle, identified as Richard Webster, was reportedly approached by a green car carrying four men.  Seated next to him was Gayle Escarpeta, an employee of Youth For the Future.  Before the couple realized what was taking place they had come under intense gunfire.  A volley of rounds tore through several sections of the SUV, including the front bumper, the right passenger door and its rear side window.  While Webster escaped unharmed, Escarpeta was mortally wounded.  She had been shot twice in the right arm and once to the right armpit.

 

Bleeding profusely, Escarpeta was rushed to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where she succumbed to her injuries.  The heartless murder, it would seem, was gang-related, since the shooting occurred in the vicinity of a known hotspot.  Her family and friends, however, attest that this hardworking, youth advocate was in no way associated with any criminal activity.

 

Crystal Dacoff

Crystal Dacoff, Employee, Department of Youth Services

“When it came to work it was work time, she didn’t have time to play.  She made sure that she executed every plan she had in her little notepad to the best of her ability.”

 

Although meticulous in her day-to-day role as a computer program assistant and events coordinator at Youth For the Future, many call to question her purpose for being in the neighborhood at that time of night.  Escarpeta was crucial in the organization of this year’s Youth Week activities.

 

Crystal Dacoff

“She was a major part in the opening because she was also the planner in doing it, [she was] the assistant planner in executing all those [displays and] what you see downstairs, you know, so what are trying to do is to finish what she started.”

 

Her death, it is widely rumored, may have been a case of mistaken identity.  Meanwhile, Belize City police are investigating the incident and are yet to determine a motive.  The aforementioned green vehicle, although a make and model is yet to be identified, is being sought by police, who believe that it could lead to the arrest of its driver.

 

Escarpeta’s colleagues describe her as fun loving and respectable, someone who was determined to make a difference in the lives of Belize City youths.

 

Isani Cayetano

“The irony, somewhat, of this particular situation, is that the person you are describing is someone who is actively involved in trying to change the lives of young people in the streets of Belize City and sadly, she has fallen victim to the crime and violence that plagues young people.  Talk to us about how you guys are dealing with this particular tragedy.”

 

Crystal Dacoff

“Well actually, we are just taking it day by day.  We are trying not to have our emotions [get] the best of us.  We are just trying to freelance through the rest of the week until the day of her burial.”

 

The senseless attack is the second tragedy to befall Escarpeta’s family.  In September 2007, Gayle’s elder sibling, Kirk Ortega was also terminated in a shower of bullets as he stood in front of Pratt’s Fried Chicken awaiting an order of food.  Despite several arrests, his accused killer was later set free due to a lack of evidence.

 

Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

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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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19 Responses for “Gayle Escarpeta, Youth for the Future employee, murdered”

  1. Rod says:

    Poor girl my condolences to he family of this hard working girl who was doing nothing but living lets see if this no good pm and gov will pay her family for her death since its their fault that this innocent girl is dead again this gov. Has failed to protect its citizens under this gov. And pm the carnage continues unabated the incompetence of this pm and gov. Is unacceptable guan judas barrow guan .

  2. Rod says:

    Hang the murderer hang him high

  3. Al says:

    When will this madness stop. I am trying to understand where the minds of these people are, but it defies understanding. I am now very certain, that there is satanic attack this over this country and until people begin earnest prayer to God to break the stronghold and bind Satan, this madness will continue. Listen anyone who reads this, start praying the word of God over Belize it only takes two earnest people to get the ear of God. Please fight for the survival of our country.

  4. Rod Replier says:

    Rod,
    Sorry to say but this has nothing to do with the PM….It’s on us as citizens of this nation…each one of us….to change the way we live in this country….Murders were happening long before PM Barrow got elected, and sad to say they will happen long after he is PM. It’s on US BELIZEANS, to stand up and make these fools from George Street, PIV, Ghosttown or where ever they may be, that we won’t give in to them and their ruthless, classless way of living…..

    This is a real serious situation in our country, and should not be POLITICIZED in anyway ROD.

  5. impartial says:

    although Rod talks non-sense most of the time, he is right that the GOB has failed to protect its citizens, so Rod-replier, this is not political but the GOB has failed miserably at keeping criminal behind bars, they all walk out for some reason or other… so they feel that they can operate freely without fear of sucessful prosecution… so yes, let’c stand up but lets make sure that the GOB dos its part too!

  6. eee says:

    to Rod Replier:

    again you are missing the point , the grand thug Dean Barrow steals Belizean money and pays it to his own law firm, open your eyes, if people have enough money to eat, do you think they will kill for it.

    Dean thug rat Barrow can not live on millions he stole, and goes to USA for vacation and treatment, and leaves the poor belizean suffer.

  7. Belizean says:

    CORRECTO!!!!!!!!! @Rod Replier…We need more rod repliers, especially the mentality that you have man. Rod needs to see that to stop violence, it starts in HIS OWN HOME!!!!!!!! Also agree with Al to start praying..!

  8. Uncle Benji says:

    @AL….. great comment. Great job in holding down the fort. I noticed that you invoked God. Please re invoke him as America votes. Tonight, we will have a new president in America. A man that understands business………. Mitt Romney.

    Perhaps, with the American economy improving under Romney, Belize crime will take a nose dive, as the southside gangbangers, seek their (never to be found) pot of gold in the USA.

    As the gangbangers drift up north, maybe Belize city becomes more liveable. Unlike Barak or Barrow, Romney will make a change.

  9. phillybelizean says:

    @stupid uncle Benji can U vote for Obama? I don’t think so, stop worry bout America Belize is at it’s worst rite now think about that an how u can make a change

  10. Concern says:

    my sympathy to the immediate family of the decease (RIP). I feel the pain as a Belizean to hear what is going on here in my country. While we can continue to point fingers I am not sure if it matters. We the people need to look around us and reach out to those who are around because criminals are members of a family and we can do our part. We do not know when these activities will reach our doorsteps so start today, speak positivity to our young minds out there, reason with them, motivate them so that they can see another way out, until we as a people begin to do this, we will continue to suffer these effect. I mean If it means giving a plate of food to those who do not have then let us do it because desperation leads to CRIMINAL ACTIVITIES. TO THE JUDICIARY , if a person is found guilty of an offense beyond a reasonable doubt then let him get the maximum if he is a repeated offender, for first time offenders let them be punished but include a punishment that entails community project or farming so that they can learn from their experience.

  11. hi5 says:

    @unclebenji’s pls STOP bring American’s Election is this. This is Belize! No one cares whats going on in America. We got 99 problems and mitts aint one. Who cares if you’re a Romney’s supporters? Go VOTE(if u can) & Keep ur dumb comments to ur self. Everyone’s knows Obama’s inherit that mess.#Fired up!

  12. Elgin Martinez says:

    This bs got to stop Belize.What the F is wrong with these idiot targetting Women.Who cares if it’s mistaken identity,that’s not a justification for murdering people.

  13. Uncle Benji says:

    @PHILLYBELIZEAN……… Yes. I can vote. Yes. I voted. Yes. Romney is going to win.

    So you identify yourself with Philadelphia?

    I hope that Philadelphia is treating you right. Whatever you do, ensure that you are not treated as a second class citizen; if they do please pack up, and go home to Belize.

    Don’t use the word “stupid” when writing. The word “stupid” could be misinterpreted as “reflection” or “man in the mirror.”

  14. ceo says:

    She should have changed the people she hangs with and more than likely she would have been alive today. Very sad!

  15. sugacity says:

    .. LIKE IT OR NOT OBAMA IS GOING TO WIN THIS ELECTION. HE IS SMART AND WELL EDUCATED . BELIZE IS AT FALL BECAUSE OF BARROW IS A VERY STUPID MAN I CAN STAND HIM .

  16. Storm says:

    This is another very sad murder, and it had nothing to do with poverty. She wasn’t robbed for some bread, she was just gunned down for cowardly sport. The animals who did it should be gunned down the same way.

    I hope BDF can exterminate the gunslingers in short order. Few tears will be shed for them.

  17. bmp chic says:

    i dont even thing Uncle Benji can even vote lmao

  18. Realtalk says:

    ALWAYS LACK OF EVEIDENCE…. HOW MANY YEELARS HAVE WE BEEN HEARING THIS AND THE POLICE STILL SLNOT DOING ANY BETTER…..

    I DONT THINK THEY ARE BEING TRAINED PROPERLY BECAUSE HOW MANY PEOPLE LOST THEIR LIVES AND WHEN THE OFFENDERS APPEAR IN COURT, AFTER SPENDING 9MONTHS THE CHASE IS THROWN OUT AND THEY ARE ACQUITTED …..

    MY GOODNESS… WHAT OR WHO IS IT GOING TO TAKE TOSERIOUSLY CLEAN UP DA STREETS… CRIMINALS…VIOLENT HEARTLESS MONSTERS…. GET RID OF THEM…..

  19. Tish says:

    This story is sad I just can’t understand why so many people committing crimes in belize and later set free due to lack of evidence. Belize is my country but I’m so happy I decided to relocate 10 yrs ago just worried about my family back home for their safety.

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