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Dec 30, 2013

Desperate search for a missing Canadian

Sixty-four year old Brian Townsend was declared officially missing on Christmas Day. But the Police Department and residents of the community believe that he was attacked in his home at around ten pm on Christmas Eve. Evidence, including a ransacked house, missing items and a blood trail, suggests that Townsend was hurt or killed on the lawn of his compound in Valley of Peace, Cayo District before being dragged to his vehicle. That vehicle, a Chevy Silverado pickup, was seen leaving Valley of Peace late that night, with a mattress and rug in the back. Since Christmas Day the Police Department and friends of Townsend in the small community have been conducting intensive searches, but with no success. Today, Townsend’s son Kory is in Belize hoping for positive news, and the search has now been stepped up with the addition of the Belize Disaster and Rescue Response Team and the B.D.F. Mike Rudon was in Valley of Peace today and has the story.

FOR VIDEO CLICK HERE: SEARCH CONTINUES FOR MISSING CANADIAN MISSIONARY

 

Mike Rudon, Reporting

Today three teams comprised of members of the Belize Disaster and Rescue Response Team, the B.D.F. and residents combed the bushy surrounds of Valley of Peace – sometimes searching at random, and at other times following the trail of vultures circling in the sky. Canadian national Brian Townsend has been missing since Christmas Day. His son Kory got word of his disappearance via email and made contact with BDARRT, which is now coordinating the search. After six days, everybody is hoping for the best while fearing the worst.

 

Kory Townsend

Kory Townsend, Son of Brian Townsend

“We’re trying to stay positive, we’re trying to stay focused but the reality is that he has been gone for almost six days and the chances of him being alive are slim, but we can hope, we can hope. At this point we’re just trying to locate a body or just trying to find the truck, and hopefully he’s alive.”

 

Loyda Martinez, Belize Disaster & Rescue Response Team

“This is the first day that we’re out here. I met with Kory yesterday to go over some details, and so today we’re here to do an assessment of the situation and what has been done so far in terms of a search. So for the past week, four or five days, the community has been doing searches on all the feeder roads leading in and out of Valley of Peace, so we’re just here to, not really pick up where they left off, but to do the assessment and figure out exactly what it is that we need to do to expand the search.”

 

Much of the land being searched is bushy, and because of the incessant rains the going today was rough. But the group is determined to be thorough and cover every part of Spanish Lookout and surrounds.

 

Loyda Martinez

Loyda Martinez

“Some members of the community have mentioned them seeing the vehicle going through the main exit to the Belmopan area, and that’s the reason the guys are looking on that side and we still have one of the teams going to Spanish Lookout just in case.”

 

Townsend had lived on this compound since 2006, but had been in Valley of Peace since 2001 doing missionary work, including the construction of the community’s only college.

 

Kory Townsend

“He lived without serving self – that’s something he said. He would always say that we’re selfish people and we live for our own indulging pleasure and he wasn’t like that. I’ve never been here before. This is my first time, and talking with locals and some of the people who knew him, he gave of himself. He would see people walking on the side of the road and he would stop and help them. He would wave to everybody. He was the ambulance that would take people to the hospital. He just gave. That was his nature. That was his mission. That’s why he was here.”

 

With the search now intensified, there is increased hope that Townsend will be found, but with the clock ticking, there is also an awareness of the reality which may await his family and friends with that discovery.

 

Loyda Martinez

“There’s still hope, however at this point in time…it’s been almost seven days, so there is the possibility that it may be a body recovery rather than a search and rescue, and so that’s just the reality of the situation at the moment.”

 

Brian Townsend

Reporter

“At what point do you give up?”

 

Kory Townsend

“Never! That’s not an option. Giving up is for those people who are weak. I’m not weak, my father’s not weak. You know, people might define giving up differently. I define it as…hope is one of the only things we have, so if we lose that, we lose everything. So we’re not giving up.”

 

Mike Rudon 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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4 Responses for “Desperate search for a missing Canadian”

  1. tigereatyusuppa says:

    Kory Townsend: “He lived without serving self – that’s something he said. He would always say that we’re selfish people and we live for our own indulging pleasure and he wasn’t like that. I’ve never been here before. This is my first time, and talking with locals and some of the people who knew him, he gave of himself. He would see people walking on the side of the road and he would stop and help them. He would wave to everybody. He was the ambulance that would take people to the hospital. He just gave. That was his nature. That was his mission. That’s why he was here.”

    Reminds one of: “You better wake up. The world you live in is just a sugar-coated topping. There is another world beneath it — the real world. And if you want to survive it, you better [shouts] learn to pull the trigger!” — Blade

  2. Retire here says:

    Retire in Belize.
    Expats welcome.
    Hunting you to steal your wallet is part of the national sport of murder.
    Expats that actually do good for Belizeans? Top of the list.

  3. Proud Belizean says:

    Father like son? Not at all.

  4. SWTBELIZ5NGAL says:

    BELIZE IS SO SCARY ! i AM SCARED TO COME BACK THERE !

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