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Mar 15, 2017

Family Mourns Terrible End for Keonia Ara, 18

Keonia Ara

The family of eighteen-year old Keonia Ara of Blackman Eddy continues to reel over her gruesome murder over the weekend. Ara was stabbed multiple times, her throat slit and then her body set on fire at the Belmopan dump. A second post mortem is to be held since it is suspected that she was also raped. While police continue to investigate, the grief-stricken family believes that they know the reason for her murder and the connection which is perhaps linked to a previous murder in nearby Teakettle. Though this is unconfirmed, her family is of the view that her post on social media about that murder motivated the jealousy that resulted in her murder. News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports.


Sherlene Mai

Sherlene Mai, Mother of Deceased

“Sunday morning now, my next son, weh two ah dehn tight, and he come to me and seh, “Ma”.  I eena kitchen di try cut up chicken and thing fi cook Sunday dinner and he come and ih seh, “Ma, you deh ya di cook.”  Ih seh, “My sista dead yoh know.”  Ah tell ahn, “Travis, what?  Weh paat you get dat from?”  Ih seh, “Ma, my sista dead.  My pa just come to me eena my sleep last night.”  Ih seh, “Ahn my pa tell me how dehn kill my sista and dehn hib ahn eena bush.”


Isani Cayetano, Reporting

The ominous news of eighteen-year-old Keonia Ara’s tragic demise came to her older brother in a powerful dream.  That premonition, a well-articulated message delivered by their deceased father, foretold her end.


Travis Mai

Travis Mai, Brother of Deceased

“My pa di tell me dat my sista done dead already and something happen to ahn.  Something happen to my sista then, because she gaan from Saturday.  I mi done got di dream from I deh backa bush but I mi forget fu tell my sista then because we mi got wahn party and she just gaan out and right deh soh I mi forget fu tell ahn.  But di Saturday night we stay up and drink.  So coming on to the Sunday, I di worry bout it.  I di worry and worry but I wahn tell my ma that something happen to my sista, but I noh wahn tell ahn and she just get jumpy and ih feel like I di wish bad fu my sista.”


There is a lot to consider in the aftermath of the tragedy.  Could this outcome have been avoided had Travis reported the sign to his mother earlier?  It’s a question that will remain unanswered.  For now, the grieving family is trying to understand why their loved one was murdered in such heinous manner.


Sherlene Mai

“My neighbor come and she tell me, ih seh, “Ma Sherls, ih seh, “you yer weh happen?”  Ah tell ahn, “No.”  Ih seh,” You noh yer Howell deh pan TV di talk [bout] mek dehn come een and identify wahn body weh dehn find with wahn young lady weh got tattoo pan ih skin?”  I seh, but Isani, if I woulda tell yo ih di click and ah register that da my daughter ah woulda seh ah di tell lie.  Ih still yet noh di come to me.”


In fact, it never dawned on the unsuspecting mother until she paid a visit to the Roaring Creek Police Station.  What she encountered confirmed her son’s and her neighbor’s suspicions.  [We warn that the following images are graphic in nature.]


Sherlene Mai

“As the police bring up di tattoo, ah seh da my daughter.  Then I know that da she.  And when I gaan da di morgue, ih hand deh right soh.  Like Ma, dehn burn mi, dehn kill me, but please try find me, dah me this.  Sih me ya, like dis dah weh ih di try tell me.  Sih me ya, because ih got di tattoo right ya, with ih name eena it.”


For twenty-year-old Travis, that confirmation has brought everything he had dreamt about full circle.


Travis Mai

“Di mawnin when I get up I tell my ma dat, di Monday, something happen to my sista conscious da true.


As for a motive, police have not been able to ascertain why Keonia was killed, her body finished with and set on fire at the Belmopan dumpsite.  Several persons, including an acquaintance reportedly from Teakettle Village, are being held pending an investigation.


Sherlene Mai

“Di bwai just watch me eena my face yesterday and like smile atta me.  Ah get yoh.  That da di impression he give me.  Like, ah get yoh now and like he happy bout weh he do.”


Isani Cayetano

“When was the last time you saw your daughter and what was the communication with her?”


Sherlene Mai

“Saturday.  Ih mi deh quite happy, contented.  All ah wi sihdown right deh pan da bench and we di play, we di laugh, we di talk and ih seh, “Ma, ih seh, I gwein back up“, because ih work up da Santa Elena by my niece house because she got baby and da deh ih go help ahn clean and thing like dat right.  So ih seh, “Ma, I gwein back up da Rigs.”  That’s how she said Saturday.  So ah sehe, alright then cause when ih tell me ih wah deh da dah spot ih all time mek sure ih di deh.”


Keonia never made it to that location.  Tonight, her charred remains await another autopsy. Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

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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1 Response for “Family Mourns Terrible End for Keonia Ara, 18”

  1. Concerned Belizean says:

    Yes crime happens everywhere but the sad thing is that Belize is such a small nation for the amount of unsolved crimes and murders that take place there. It’s sad that the people cannot even be guaranteed their safety or justice when safety is violated. Why can’t the government at least put more into its people’s security?

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