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Dec 19, 2013

Body of 53 year old missing man fished out of river

John Albert Tillett

A resident of San Ignacio went missing since last Friday but tonight his family has put him to rest. John Albert Tillett was last seen alive at a restaurant on the town but on Wednesday his body was retrieved from the river at Santa Familia. It is not confirmed how Tillett ended in the river, but foul play has been ruled out because there were no signs of violence on the body. While the Tillett family has closure, they are saddened by his untimely death.


Duane Moody, Reporting

It has been almost a week since the family of fifty-three year old John Albert Tillett went to the San Ignacio police to report that he had gone missing. He was last seen on Friday at Hode’s Place in San Ignacio sometime around ten p.m. and after leaving the establishment, he was never seen or heard from. The family immediately started a search for him.


Daughter of Deceased

 “On December the thirteenth, we discovered that our father went missing. That was in the night time because he didn’t reach home. The last place that they last saw him was at Hode’s Place, the mini casino in San Ignacio. And after that, we had no clue whatsoever where he was because at eight o’clock in the night time that was the only time the family, my mother, she heard from my father. She received a call that he was coming down to get food and after that, no clue.”


Insp. Reymundo Reyes, Deputy O.C., San Ignacio Police Formation

“Information is that he left home on Friday morning after seven en route to Belmopan where he works at the Ministry of Works. He did return back to San Ignacio that same evening after seven, went home, dropped off his bag and allegedly he made a call to his wife; informing his wife that he was coming down within town to meet her where she sells food. Unfortunately the gentleman never arrived at all. The gentleman was in fact at Hode’s that evening up until sometime around ten o’clock when he left under the influence of alcohol. Numerous searches were conducted in the Branch Mouth Area where was the last area he was seen by three persons that same night.”


Daughter of Deceased

 “And please if you hear anything, I am on the search every day. I can’t take it; it is taking longer. I’m being strong, but I know I want my father home for Christmas. Everyone knows him. He is a well known man. Thank god we have the support from his family, his friends, NEMO, Police, everyone trying to help us. But I am out there searching and anyone who wants to come and support, we have support groups every morning eight o’clock. We meet up at NEMO so you can meet us there and help us with the search. Anything can help right now.”


Angelique Straker

“The family’s worst fear was confirmed on Wednesday evening right here in the village of Santa Familia where the lifeless body of the Belmopan Ministry of Works employee was fished out of the Belize River.”


Insp. Reymundo Reyes

“Sometime after five-thirty information was received of the body of a male person seen floating on the Belize River in the Santa Familia area. Police were deployed and checks made where it was verified that in fact the body of Mister John Tillett, which was eventually retrieved out of the water. And today, Doctor Hugh Sanchez conducted a post mortem examination, but from the viewing of the body, it shows that the person had no visible injuries on it. The person had all properties: cell phone, his watch, wedding ring, money that he had in his pocket; everything accounted for. And at the conclusion of the post mortem, the doctor certified the cause of death to be that of inconclusive for the moment.”


The police are treating this incident as a case of drowning.


Reymundo Reyes

Insp. Reymundo Reyes

“At first we did have people who we questioned and so forth who were people who had last contact with the gentleman, but after the post mortem we can more or less determine that there is no kind of foul play suspected to be in the death of Mister John Tillett.”


Reporting for News Five, I am Duane Moody.


Following the post mortem exam, Tillett’s body was handed over to the family for burial. 

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