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Nov 24, 2014

Canadian National Dies In Bullet Tree. Did He Drown?

James Searles

The body of a Canadian newly-wed was retrieved from the Mopan River on Sunday morning. James Searles arrived in Belize on Saturday to reunite with his wife of two months and within hours he was a dead man. When the body was pulled out of the river, it was only clothed with a jacket and police say they are not ruling out anything. So tonight, there are more questions than answers in the sudden death of Searles. Duane Moody reports. 


Duane Moody, Reporting

Fifty-nine year old Canadian national, James Garfield Searles, touched down at the P.G.I.A. on Saturday and was picked up by his wife, forty-five year old Nicole Warner; they had just married in September. The couple headed to Warner’s home in Bullet Tree Village, Cayo District and after having several drinks, all seemed well as they went to sleep that night.


Supt. Dinsdale Thompson, O.C., San Ignacio Police Formation

Dinsdale Thompson

“Miss Nicole Warner came to the station and gave a report that her husband, a Canadian national too, residing in Bullet Tree Village, she and her husband were together Saturday night when they went to sleep having had some drinks. As a matter of fact, the husband had just come from the United States and she picked him up from the airport. While coming, making their way to Bullet Tree village, they had stopped at two places one on the western highway where they had couple beers and the other is in San Ignacio Town where they bought a bottle of rum.”


Hours later, Warner says she woke up to find her husband missing and hurried to the station to make a report. Police investigation led to a search of the area and twelve hours later, at four p.m. on Sunday, the partially nude body of Searles was found floating in the Mopan River, less than two hundred yards away from the residence.


Supt. Dinsdale Thompson

“When she woke up, she found that her husband wasn’t in the house. That was the time when she became alarmed about it and came to the station. We then launched an investigation with a search. Sometime around four p.m. Sunday evening, we made the discovery of the body of her husband which we retrieved from the river in the person of Mister James Searles.  We located the body not too far away from their home. The home is just couple yards away from the river, which is the Mopan River in the Bullet Tree village. At the time when we located the body, we have not found any visible signs of injuries on the body. However we have not ruled out anything so far. We are still doing our investigation and whatever is the cause of this, we will get to the bottom and then from there we will continue to move on with our investigation.”


There are more questions than answers in the sudden death of the elderly man and police investigations continue.


Supt. Dinsdale Thompson

“The body was intact; we found him with what appears to be just a jacket that was thrown over him. An underwear or trouser, he did not have on. At this time, the body is in the morgue awaiting a post mortem which should be conducted tomorrow evening sometime around one p.m.”


Duane Moody for News Five.


The post mortem will be conducted on Tuesday afternoon and police believe the results will determine how the investigation will proceed.

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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18 Responses for “Canadian National Dies In Bullet Tree. Did He Drown?”

  1. Sabrena Clark says:

    Please, If you find anything about my father, please let us know. My sister and I are so worried about what happened.

  2. Meena says:

    from wat i understood first thing she did was go to the police correct me if im wrong, if it was that wat she did then, To be honest that sounds very mysterious, why would she call the police as soon as she gets up.. that does sound right…. If I would wake up and didnt see my husband der i wudnt go to the police i wud wait a see if he comes home…. wait a while call relatives then if no one knows i wud then go to the police…….. maybe i wud think he went for a walk for something, not missing…

  3. Sam says:

    Nicole Warner is a scamp- she left a long trail of unpaid bills in San pedro- follow the money police

  4. Winnipeger says:

    Correction to the article: The man had just come from Winnipeg Canada. He did not come from the United States.

    Something is not right here:

    The spouse ran immediately to the police after she woke up?
    How does a naked corpse manage to place a jacket over his body?
    How does a naked man manage to go down to the river without any marks to his body?

    There is the possibility that he had too much to drink and wandered down to the river naked while carrying his jacket. He then decided to lie down for a sleep and used the jacket as a blanket. Anything is possible but I am finding it hard to believe. I wonder if someone has an insurance policy on the man. I hope they find the truth so that the family can have closure.

  5. Busted says:

    If his wife had anything to do with this I hope she rots in hell…..she’ll probably try to leave the country. Sounds like she is a real scam artist.

  6. Bullet Tree says:

    Do another autopsy in Canada, look for sleeping pills. Driving into Bullet Tree and going over the small bridge, you can visually see that the river and the current is very strong, the water is brown from all the rain.

  7. family of James says:

    This is a very unsettling thing that has happened, my Uncle was afraid of water and would never have gone to the river. I hope that all the answers come forward soon for our family, and justice prevails. And if this was something that was DONE to him, you have to live with this, his family, children and grandchildren have been robbed by your selfishness. Just saying, karma is coming for you!!

  8. Mr. Skeptical says:

    Hmmm. I read that Nicole Warner was married in 2010 and her husband died thereafter. Now it happened with husband # 2 in 2014? I say this lady is bad luck regardless whether Mr. Searles died because of accident or foul play. Guys… you have better luck surviving Ebola than surviving a marriage with this lady!

    There hasn’t been anymore follow up articles by the news media on Mr. Searle’s death. I wonder what happened to the police investigation. Or was there one? I suggest the family hire a private investigator to get some background information on all those involved.

    P.S. Most wives wouldn’t have police looking for their husbands until they at least ate breakfast in the morning. (Mine would probably wait until the next payday)

  9. Winnipeger says:

    That’s odd, Nicole Warner had to go back to Belize immediately after they got married in Winnipeg because she had to go back to work. A story in the Winnipeg Free Press says that she lives in Belize but has not worked for 2 years. This makes sense because she would not be allowed to work there unless she has applied for permanent residency.

    I agree with Mr. Skeptical. Get a private investigator.

  10. Cheryl Richards says:

    I was discussing all of this with my daughter and the first thing we both thought when we read the article was she (the wife) has something to do with this or she just plain did it. I think they should be taking as good long look at that woman. I have known James for a long time and he has never been that careless and he certainly does not walk around without cloths on EVER. There are way to many things wrong with this picture. If this is not this woman’s first dead husband someone should be taking a good hard look at her. I hope that the truth of this comes out so the family can have peace. James was a wonderful and very kind man he was a dear friend and always had a smile on his face. I will be praying that the family finds the truth and justice that they deserve, that James deserves.

  11. Nicole Searles says:

    You people have no idea what you are talking about. How dare any of you make these kind of assumptions. As for Cheryl, well I could air some dirty laundry about you if you would like. Me and James loved each other. Period. I woke up at 3:30 am – still dark, ran around the house and the yard, screaming his name. I didnt call the police until daylight, when I could examine the yard and area again in case he passed out…James drank..not sure if anyone knew this…??? The yard slopes considerably. He was naked because we were newlyweds…what do you think we were doing???? I can draw you a picture if you like. As for James being afraid of the water, this is the most bizarre thing I have heard, considering he boats, fishes, and we went swimming every weekend when he was here. Use some common sense. From what I can determine as well as the police as well as anyone who lives in the area, he grabbed a jacket, threw it around his shoulders and went out for a smoke. He went too damn far and slipped. It was dark and slippery. Again you all disgust me. I have never been legally married before and do not have any deceased spouses, except now, James, the love of my life. I have lived in this country for over 8 years, and have worked the entire time. Maybe the newspapers are just trying to sell news……Maybe you should all get a life and stop making trouble where there is none and let me grieve my sweet James.

  12. Gringa265 says:

    wow, I can’t believe the witch hunt that is happening here. I have known Nicole for years. First of all, her first husband is not dead, he is very much alive and was even an acquaintance of Mr.
    Searles. The Winnipeg article has incorrect information (surprise, not everything you read online is true people) she is a Canadian citizen who has been working in Belize for several years. She is a permanent resident, I was there celebrating when she got it. As the police stated, there is no foul play, it is a tragic accident. They both had been drinking. He went outside, probably for a smoke, he slipped on the muddy, steep embankment that is right out the back door. It had been raining for weeks, the current is strong, the report actually says it would be difficult for someone who has fallen in to get back out, especially if they were drunk. My thoughts and prayers go out to his widow and his family. Nicole, I know you miss him and you are hurting. I know how much you long for companionship. Put down your pitchforks people.

  13. Bonnie says:

    I can’t begin to image how awful it must be, to have your new husband die after just arriving home. Then to be the target of so many terrible, speculative, comments. Put yourself in her shoes: They have just finished celebrating his arrival… in bed. They fall asleep. He feels the call of nature and just throws his jacket over his shoulders to go out and pee at the rivers edge. Then he slips, falls into the river, and dies. Now you wake up, can’t find him anywhere, but his clothes are all there. Very strange! Yes. The first thing I would do is call the police.

  14. Winnipeger says:

    Just want to provide an insider’s update on the situation because I feel that James and his family have not been given the proper investigation they deserve. They have been failed by the Belize Police, Belize Coroner, Canadian Government and James’ Dumb Brother.

    Belize Police – Given the circumstances, the investigation was fast and incomplete. The police report is about as detailed as one of Dr. Phil’s TV shows.

    Belize Coroner – The Coroner did an autopsy and then was to send the body back to Canada so a second autopsy could be done. The Belize Coroner failed to include the organs with the body which is a requirement by law. Instead they disposed the organs so an autopsy could not be performed in Canada. When Belize Coroner was asked for a copy of the autopsy report they could not find it. They eventually found a hand scribbled report which did not have any relevant information for the Canadian Coroner, other than death by drowning.

    Canadian Government – They are shaking their heads at what has happened but say there is nothing they can do. The Belize system is so corrupt that even hiring a private investigator is not usefull.

    Dumb Brother – He impedes James’ two daughters from finding out details by hiding information or purposely failing to provide information because he disagrees with their reservations. Questions arose as to whether Nicole was still married to someone else when she supposedly married James. Nicole and James marriage certificate was never filed so Mr. Dumb files it after James death knowing that there were questions regarding the validity. He received the body from Belize and when notified by the Canadian Coroner that the organs were missing he doesn’t say anything to the rest of the family and proceeds with cremation. Canadian Coroner cannot conduct an autopsy without the organs. He initially said he was the executor of James’ Will but then the original Will magically disappears when he realized that Nicole may not be entitled to anything because the Will gives the inheritance to the daughters and grandchilden. The daughters asked Mr. Dumb for guidance and instead he becomes an informant to Nicole. Mr. Dumb has purposly manipulated the family with roadblocks.

    Note to daughters: Keep Mr. Dumb completely out of the loop or you will never make progress. I’m not saying Nicole is guilty of anything but James deserves a proper closing.

  15. Caring friend of the family says:

    Winnipeger from May 31/2015,

    I would like to know where you have gotten your information? Not many have knowledge to the info you have shared.

    As I have been digging deep into this matter and have a trip to Belize planned in the near future. I too feel there has been a great injustist in regards to this matter and the death of James. I have been in Ontario for sometime now looking in the history of Nicole and her family. There are many things amiss with the whole history. I believe the answers I will find in Belize will uncover a lot of the questions we have all been looking for.

    There has been talk of a gentleman by the name of “Tom” I will find him and get the answers of what needs to be found. He seems to be a large part of this story as well.

    I’d like to speak with you more about this, if you are interested,reply here and I will find a way to get together and explore this story in detail.

  16. m olafson says:

    pls call 1-204-756-3112

  17. Buster says:

    The truth will come out and sooner than you all think…..Nicole is only concerned about one thing and that’s money. She has no chance of being awarded a dime from James estate. And James who I have known for many years talked at length abut his estate and how he wants his children to have everything. Nicole is delusional if she thinks she can get away with murder and then financially gain from it. She is well known to be a skank and well known for chasing vulnerable men who may be able to provide her and her crooked ” friend” Tom with money that’s not theirs. Don’t worry there is an investigation…. It’s all coming together……good chance she will end up in jail. Funny Nicole says she went swimming with James all the time….he can’t swim……

  18. Jenny Stringer says:

    I check this once in awhile and I do not know what to think. Assumptions start rumors which does not help anyone especially my dad, If people think they know what is going on please contact me with concrete evidence and support with what you do know to my email If you truly do not have anything but what ifs and gossip, STOP.
    How does this help you? I know it certainly doesn’t help me, my sister or his grand kids.
    This caring friend of the family? I haven’t heard from you, a trip to Belize? I know one person who suggested this they have my number.
    As the far as the name calling stop, doesn’t do any good.
    This does not bring my dad back.
    Investigation? you know more than I do Buster please do share
    My dad was deathly afraid of drowning, that was the only way he did not want to die.
    He would fish, boat, etc, but if he did not have his eye glasses and water look out.
    everyone will have questions but unfortunately they will never be answered.
    I do know the truth and it has not been shared with anyone except to my sis.
    so please leave Nicole alone, she does not need us speaking about her,

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