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Mar 26, 2004

Sister of murdered girl breaks silence

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The murder of sixteen-year-old Elia Gonzalez has outraged and saddened people all over Belize. But as we commemorate the fifth anniversary of the death of Jackie Fern Malic, one of five girls murdered during a spate of killings in 1999 and 2000, it becomes clear our children are no safer now than they were then. Today, News 5 spoke with Jackie Malic’s sister Adelma, who is still suffering and still afraid of a killer on the loose.

Jacqueline Woods, Reporting

On March twenty-sixth, 1999, twelve-year-old Jackie “Fern” Malic was buried. Three days earlier the young girl’s mutilated body had been found in a pool of water on a side road by mile eight on the Western Highway. Police believe the primary school student was abducted near her school, and forensic evidence showed she was stabbed numerous times and raped. One of her limbs was also missing. In addition, a substantial amount of drugs were in her body and sperm was found in her mouth.

The crime is just one of the five unsolved murders involving children. Although five years have passed since Jackie’s murder, her family has had a hard time coping with the death, especially her younger sister, Adelma Malic, who was eleven at the time. Not only did she lose her sister, she says she also knew the other victims, Sherilee Nicholas, Jay Blades, Erica Wills, and Noemi Hernandez.

Adelma Malic, Sister of Deceased

“Anger just grow in me once they no find the killer, anger just grow more in me. I just get, I noh know, get frustrated.”

“When my sister died, I me feel like why I live? Why it never be me? Things like that, but my aunty always say I noh suppose to think like that.”

Malic, who is now seventeen-years-old, not only deals with survivor’s guilt but the troubling belief that her sister and friends were all killed by the same person. Today in her first television interview conducted in the company of her aunt Fabiana Scott, Malic spoke about the day her sister went missing. She made the startling revelation that when she and her Jackie walked to school together for the last time, Noemi Hernandez was with them. Malic says a man they all knew stopped alongside them and offered them a ride.

Adelma Malic

“He brakes beside we and he said, get in, right. But my granny always tell we noh trust nobody, noh care dah who. It could be yuh family, noh trust them. And I said, no cause my mind tell me fi seh no. So I said, no, it okay, we wah walk. He slam the car door and drive off and gone.”

Malic says she is not certain if that is the same person who went looking Jackie later that morning at school, or if Jackie went with him willingly. Just as troubling for her is the fact that a year later, Noemi Hernandez was also murdered.

Adelma Malic

“I drop my sister off at her class and I gone dah my class. In the afternoon when time fi come home come eat, I gone dah my sister class and the teacher seh somebody tell ah how they hail her outside and she gone and never return back.”

“When I hear about Noemi dead, I said she was with we the same day my sister died. Then what flash inna my mind, I said the same person who killed my sister must kill Noemi. Then I wonder if I was next because I mi deh with them. It was three ah we: my sister gone, then Noemi, I wonder if I was next.”

It’s been a painful journey, but the Malic family has consistently kept their loved one alive in media.

Fabiana Scott, Aunt

“They killed her, you know you can’t even–sometimes when you are walking you are remembering her like you see her in front of you crying for help and nobody there to help her nobody, nobody. And that is sometimes when I get an ignorant way really ignorant when I remember these things that that little girl went through.”

Today as Adelma and Fabiana remembered Jackie they went through an album the family has made to chronicle her life and death. Adelma also shared part of a poem she wrote in memory of her sister.

Adelma Malic

“My tears for Jackie is not in vain. One day soon, I’ll never say I don’t know. My father God will help me say I know, and I know why.”

The family says they will continue to keep the issue in the media until the killer is caught. According to police press officer, G. Michael Reid, the case file remains open.

G. Michael Reid, Police Press Officer

“There has not been much development, to be honest with you. We continue looking for leads and asking people if there is anyone who knows anything that might be able to help us. The bottom line is the case is very much open, there is no way in the world this case will be closed until something comes out of it. Of course, given the recent incident, whenever something like this occurs, then it drives home the point and the need to continue this investigation and to continue the effort to find whoever was responsible for these atrocities.”

However, Scott believes the police have not really pushed the investigation.

Fabiana Scott

“I don’t know if they are trying because if they were trying, maybe from the first time–now everything is cold to me because maybe if they were trying that hard, maybe they would have caught the killer at that time. They say they got all the evidence, so I don’t know.”

On May ninth, Jackie Fern Malic would have turned eighteen. The only person the police ever arrested and charged for the murder was Michael Williams. He was picked up when authorities received reports that he was seen in the company of the young girl. However, Williams’s case was dismissed due to lack of evidence. No one was ever arrested for the murder of Noemi Hernandez or any of the other girls.

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 “Sister of murdered girl breaks silence”

  1. shanda says:

    jackie may your soul rest in peace.

  2. Earl Grey says:


    ONE DAY you will BUMP INTO THE KILLER UNEXPECTEDLY…………and the DNA will help convict.

  3. The People Had Enough says:

    I seriously doubt this was a Belizean; this was a serial rapist/killer from the good ole USA or some other foreign country.

  4. Eden says:

    All these kidnapper and murderers are roaming around freely, let us start to kill to kill d murderers, rapist, kidnappers etc. Total unfair what continues to happen 18 years later…

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