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Jan 11, 2016

Decomposed Body of Second Belmopan Taxi Man Found in Mount Pleasant

Lincoln Bejerano

Today, twenty-five year old Lincoln Bejerano was charged for Robbery, Conspiracy to Commit Robbery and Keeping Ammunition Without a License for the point thirty-eight calibre rounds in his pocket. He and a minor found with him at the checkpoint were also charged for Keeping a Firearm Without a License and Keeping Ammunition Without a License for the point twenty-two pistol and shells found with them when they were stopped. But are Bejerano and the minor linked to the murder? That’s what investigators are trying to find out, even as they attempt to make connections with a second murder this weekend. Yoni Maas was likely killed either Thursday night or Friday, his body discovered on Sunday. News Five’s Mike Rudon was in Mount Pleasant this morning as a family grieved the loss of their loved one. Here’s that story.


Insp. Stephanie Grinage, Deputy Commander, Belmopan Police Formation

“Based on information received, police visited an area in the Mount Pleasant Road and off a feeder road, they found the lifeless body of Mister Yoni Maas, twenty-four year old. He was reported missing on Thursday; the official report was made on Friday, but he was reported missing from Thursday. The police had assisted in conducting searches in the Maya Mopan area; the remote areas to see if they would have located Mister Maas, but it was until Sunday that we got information that a body was there and identified as him.”


Yoni Maas

Mike Rudon, Reporting

The missing person’s report was filed by Daisy Sandoval, Maas’s common-law-wife. She says Maas would routinely stay out until two or three in the morning, but they would always be in touch and he would always come home.


Voice of: Daisy Sandoval, Common-law-wife of Yoni Maas [Translated]

“He came on Thursday at around seven-thirty in the night and didn’t come back. I called him at around eleven to tell him to come and eat and he didn’t come. He didn’t answer calls or texts after that.”


It is likely that by that time Maas was already dead, his body dumped in this remote location two miles off the George Price highway near a farm. Coincidentally, the body was found by somebody who knew him, and knew that he was missing.


Voice of: Daisy Sandoval

“On Sunday I was at home when the landlord came and told me he wanted to tell me something. I asked him what happened and he told me to keep calm. Then he told me that his nephew had found my husband near his farm because he was going to the farm. And when he got to the curve his dogs ran ahead to where a body was on the ground. He realized that it could be my husband because they were from the same neighbourhood. We called the Police first, and when the Police were here we came, and then we realized it was him.”


Twenty-four year old Yoni Maas was buried at midday today, after the onsite medical examination was finished. Many of his colleagues, friends and family made the journey to this cemetery in Maya Mopan to say a final goodbye. The grief was palpable and heart-wrenching.


Voice of: Daisy Sandoval

“He was a good person. Really he never was in any problems. He never looked for trouble with other people. He stayed away from everybody, and didn’t ever get involved in gossip.”


While the findings of the examination have not been published, Police sources claim that the gunshot wounds are consistent with those inflicted by a point twenty-two pistol.


Stephanie Grinage

Insp. Stephanie Grinage

“We are definitely looking at a connection looking at the connection between…and like I said, as investigators we are looking to see if there is any connection with the two murders. That’s the way the investigators are going, but at this time, they haven’t confirmed it as yet, but that’s the angle that they are looking at.”


Bejerano has provided Police with the name of a person who eluded their grasp at the checkpoint in Ontario. They believe that name, Edwardo Santamaria, may be false. Mike Rudon for News Five.


Both Bejerano and the minor were arraigned in Belmopan Magistrate’s Court this afternoon. Both have been remanded to the Belize Central Prison. These charges are preliminary, and as the investigation continues Police expect to levy charges of murder….for one or both taxi men.

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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