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Nov 11, 2014

William Garbutt Killed Inside His Pine Street Home

On Monday night at about ten o’clock, a decaying body was found at a house on Pine Street, Belize City after neighbors alerted the police that something was awry in the house. William Garbutt was last seen alive days ago, so it is not clear when he was killed or why. But an autopsy carried out just before midday concludes he died of suffocation. Police found the hands of the fifty-six year man tied behind his back and his face covered. News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports.


Isani Cayetano, Reporting

Belize City police are tonight investigating what appears to be a case of homicide, following the discovery of a partially decomposed body on Monday.  Sometime before ten p.m., authorities were alerted to a stench emanating from the home of William Garbutt who was last seen alive at the start of the weekend.  Police Press Officer Douglas Hyde:


Douglas Hyde, Police Press Officer

Douglas Hyde

“On Monday, November tenth, 2014, at about 9:48 p.m., acting upon information received by police we visited [number] six Pine Street where the lifeless, partially decomposed body of a male person identified as William Garbutt, fifty-six-year-old Belizean, unemployed, of the same address, with his hands tied behind his back and his face tied with a cloth and an apparent wound to the forehead.”


Described by family and friends as a loner, Williams, it was initially believed, may have gotten into an altercation with someone who inflicted the wound on him.


Douglas Hyde

“We understand that there was some incident and the police are looking at that incident that we understand that was a fight and he was bleeding.  Police are following up on that investigation as well.”



“Any idea as to where that fight may have taken place?”


Douglas Hyde

“As I said, the police are following up on that information they received.”


An autopsy conducted this afternoon however, would later dispel that notion.


Douglas Hyde

“Initial police investigation revealed that William Garbutt was last seen alive on Friday, November seventh, 2014 sometime after 11:30 p.m. going home at the abovementioned address and was not seen since then.”


That was until last night when the odor of decaying flesh caught the attention of residents in the vicinity.  Officers wasted no time in responding to the scene, where they remained until the corpse was removed this morning.


Douglas Hyde

“The neighbors in the area called the police when they smelled a stench coming from the house. I just received the information on the post mortem of Mr. Garbutt and I understand it’s suffocation that was the cause of death.  The wound that was identified on his forehead is an old wound and there were no signs of any gunshot or any chop or any stab.”


So far, the police investigation has yielded nothing that would lead them to a suspect.


Douglas Hyde

“My understanding is that police, in terms of all the information that they received, that they are looking into it.  There are no persons detained yet, which of course police are looking in terms of the information they received.  Of course, we are understanding that there may be witnesses likewise too, so the police officers or the investigators are working on those areas too.”


Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.


Another body was found on Monday night in Dangriga. Initially police had indicated that a woman was murdered with the use of a blunt object and her body found in the Havana area. But this morning, that preliminary report changed and police now believe that it is a case of sudden death because the woman was reportedly under treatment at the Southern Regional Hospital and her demise was related to her illness. 

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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