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Jun 14, 2013

1 year anniversary of Jasmine Lowe’s murder

Jasmine Lowe

When thirteen year old Jasmine Lowe disappeared in June, 2012, the nation joined her parents in fear, and Cayo residents combed the land for clues. The murdered teen’s death changed the nation and there were protests in San Ignacio in front of the police station, and all chants were for justice. It has been a year since her passing and Duane Moody revisited the story to search for clues and for justice.

 

Duane Moody, Reporting

She went missing on June fourth of 2012 after she left her father’s house in Santa Elena Cayo en route to see her mother…two days later, the decomposing body of thirteen year old Jasmine Lowe was discovered in bushes near a farm on the Cristo Rey Road. Lowe was last seen getting into a vehicle—initially reported to be a taxi—and was never seen alive again. Lowe was killed and her body was dumped.

 

Chester Williams, O.C., Police Western Formation [File: June 6th, 2012]

Chester Williams

“I believe that the time of death may have been some time Monday night and we also believe that she was murdered sometime Monday night and the location where the body is at this time, I do not believe that is the area where she was murdered. We believe that she was murdered elsewhere and dumped in that location. So, all of that will be confirmed by the doctor as soon as he has conducted his post-mortem.”

 

But a postmortem conducted on scene was inconclusive…Doctor Mario Estradabran was unable to determine the cause of the death of the promising girl scout. The scene was burnt immediately after.

 

Chris Lowe

Chris Lowe, Father of Deceased [File: June 7th, 2012]

“Of course, it’s difficult. I seem strong but I break down. It’s going to be really hard dealing with putting away her possessions. I didn’t want her to buy a little pair of high heels this Saturday but she said, ‘I’ll only wear them to church,’ you know so she had a way of talking me into something and  she is incredible. I’ve really enjoyed her. I lost my mother when I was twelve and so I learned about death early and that was a really had thing. This is more difficult.”

 

The brutal murder sent shockwaves across the jewel prompting the creation of the Jasmine Alert, a warning system to look out for missing minors.

 

Patrick Menzies, Program Director, Jasmine Alert (File: July 21, 2012)

“That my brethren, is the actual alert sound utilized, for example, in the U.S. by different segments of the members of the media houses to be able to alert the nation that there is an amber alert.  We don’t want to recover our children, we want to rescue them. We don’t want to pass the three hour time frame. We want to do this within three hours; three hours of a kidnapping is the most critical; the first three hours.”

 

Residents of the Twin Towns of Santa Elena and San Ignacio were outraged by the attack on its children and it triggered several protests in front of the Police Station; they demanded justice.

But it was not until two weeks later, on June twentieth that Belize City resident, Bert Vasquez was charged and arraigned for the murder of the teen. He was initially detained during a police search for a missing child in the west. Vasquez who was exposed, was caught inside his vehicle with a minor. But it was a search of his vehicle which turned up several of Lowe’s personal effects that has linked him to her murder.

 

Sr. Supt. Chester Williams [File: June 20th, 2012]

“Since his apprehension, we had a total of eleven girls so far and just prior to coming to this press conference, another came in. So we still have people coming in making complaints. We have already. Conducted several identification parades in relation to those complaints, but we do not want to appear to be moving haphazardly. We want to be properly organized. So what we did today was basically arraign him for the charge of murder; which is the most serious of all charges that he’ll be getting.  We have several factors that led us to the arrest of Bert Vasquez; as I said, I am confident that we have enough that we could secure a conviction at the end. I will not go into specificity with details because I don’t want to try the case on the media, but I can clearly state that we have sufficient evidence that I believe can render a conviction for this matter. And the fact that the arrest has been made does not mean that the investigation has come to an end. I am positively sure that we have the person we are looking for in connection with Jasmine Lowe’s murder and investigation in this matter will continue until we can get as much as we can. We can never have too much evidence.”

 

But while Vasquez is no stranger to the courts; his rap sheet includes several charges from attempted rape, kidnapping, to  aggravated assault He maintained his innocence of all charges and allegations against him.

 

Duane Moody [File: June 21st, 2012]

“Bert do you have anything to say to the public?”

 

Bert Vasquez, Charged with Abduction/Assault

“Yes. This is over sensation. I wish to speak to all.”

 

Duane Moody

“Mister Vasquez is there anything else that you wanna say?”

 

Bert Vasquez

“Many things; but I’ll be in touch with you through counsel. I’m innocent of this crime, I’m being framed.”

 

At that juncture in the murder case, several other minors came forward…up to eleven, claiming that Vasquez had offered them money to get into his vehicle. As a result, he was charged with eleven counts of common assault, one count of aggravated assault and one count of forcible abduction against young girls in the Twin Towns in the West. Since then however, all the common assault charges were dropped and Vasquez remains on remand at the Belize Central Prison until his next court appearance for the trial of murder. The twin towns and the parents of Jasmine Lowe still suffer a deep wound since justice is yet to occur. Duane Moody for News Five.

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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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5 Responses for “1 year anniversary of Jasmine Lowe’s murder”

  1. sickntired says:

    I wonder if this reporter actually see bert inna di prison cause i was made to understand that he was in solitary first and then let out and ran away to guatemala. I no care how long they take to prosecute him as long as he inna jail. I also hope he inna general population and di other prisoners welcome him very warmly and make him the favourite mate.

  2. LADY B says:

    GEEZE WHAT THESE PEOPLE TALKING ABOUT ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY … THAT IS SICK

  3. MODERATORDELETED says:

    MANY THINGS HAPPENING , MANY THINGS COVERED-UP, GOD KNOWS THE REAL TRUTH !!!!
    THERE WILL BE A TIME WHEN REAL UNCERTAINTY WILL HAUNT THE KILLERS.
    I TRUST NO ONE, NOT EVEN HER MOTHER NOR HER DAD, NOR POLICE, THINGS ARE THERE TO UNCOVER !!!!
    MAY THE LORD TAKE YOUR SOUL, SWEET JASMIN, MAY HE BE WITH YOU NOW AND FOREVER.
    IF THE LORD GIVES YOU THE PERMISSION, PLEASE REVEAL TO THE RIGHT PERSON DETAILS OF YOUR ASSAILANTS.
    AGAIN, JASMIN, MAY YOUR SOUL BE WITH OUR LORD , GOD , CREATOR OF ALL AND ALL.

  4. Hatari says:

    Unfortunately, we all know how this is going to turn out. NOT GUILTY! The police have and will continue to botch the case as they always do. Starting with the botched autopsy and burning of the crime scene. Sure they found evidence in his car BUT hey, that’s only circumstantial. Anyone could have thrown her ring into his back seat. Hopefully they took some DNA samples but again, I doubt it. And even if they did, do they have the expertise to handle the evidence properly? Again, I doubt it. The police department and the DPP’s office as a result of their ineptitude have only been able to produce a 4% conviction rate. FOUR PERCENT!!! That is shameful!

  5. wakeupbelize says:

    That man in the picture above in the police uniform is now the chief forensic analyst at the forensic lab. Please tell me how a police officer turn commissioner suddenly become top forensic scientist? Who give him that position? He know anything bout that? Something not right. I also hear he is/was dating one of Bert’s close family but dat might be Belize gossip. Please DON’T rest in peace Jasmine. Haunt the sob that did this to do until he is brought to justice. And haunt anyone that is covering it up til they can’t sleep and do the right thing.

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