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Jun 27, 2017

Mark Mendez found dead; family says goodbye as hunt begins for killer

It had been expected, but the loss of twenty-four year old Mark Mendez of Teakettle, Cayo District, hurts no less for his family and the village. The five-day saga that brought out such anguish came to an end on Monday evening, when hunters stumbled across his decomposing body in the forests between Teakettle and Ontario villages, about an hour’s walk from the George Price Highway. While the question of Markie’s whereabouts is now answered, others remain unresolved, including, as Aaron Humes tells us, why his life was cut short.


Aaron Humes

“Behind us is an hour’s journey to the site where the body of twenty-four year old Markie Mendez was discovered by police and others late on Monday evening. It appears a lot of hard work to dispose of a body, but it was work that the killer or killers was prepared to engage in. The question is, why?”


Hunters in the area are said to have alerted the family to the discovery of Mendez’ decomposing body in the Warrie Head area on the boundary with Ontario. His father, Pablo Mai, could only identify him by his tattoo of his parents’ names on his arm and his Nike shoes. A post-mortem examination on site showed that Mendez was shot to the head and left for dead. It is a cruel end for a person his mother, Verna, says was no troublemaker.


Verna Mendez, Mother of Deceased

Verna Mendez

“I call all over to my family, maybe that he sometimes go by, but he would never go out and not tell me where he went, so then I know. Nobody [saw] him; he didn’t go to any of them.”



“Now you said police called you – when was that, on Friday?”


Verna Mendez

“I think it was Thursday evening; police come by the burial ground and we met the police there and they asked if I called, because somebody called and said they found him by the burial ground. And then we told the police I didn’t make a call, so I don’t know who called the police and told them – they said they got a call that he was found by the burial ground. He dah wah very friendly person and he know everybody; he dah everybody friend; da mi wah nice person.”


Close friend Elton Vasquez would agree, which makes it difficult for him to understand why someone would want him dead.


Elton Vasquez, Close Friend of Deceased

“All a we da friend, everybody.”


“All the people out here?”


Elton Vasquez

Elton Vasquez

“From the one weh do di killing da friend; all a we, and the man chance the man – ih mi neva fi do the man that and I neva think the man mi wa do di man dat neither.”



“So you’re telling me that you felt somebody close to all of you guys is involved in this?”


Elton Vasquez

“Yes, yes, yes. And we search, we search. And I di search from Wednesday; because the last time Wednesday the man mi deh with me di evening and fah deh di man left and seh ih mi gwein sew ih slippers and dat da weh ih gone; neva see di man again.”

This afternoon an impromptu burial and funeral service at the same village cemetery behind which villagers searched fruitlessly on Monday stopped the sleepy village in its tracks, as young and old alike came out to  give him final honors. Now, the search intensifies for the person or persons whom villagers and the police are convinced killed him.


Elton Vasquez

“You got a lot of things leak behind everything but I know da di man kill ah, ih kill ah. Ih kill the man.”


Sr. Supt. Howell Gillett, O.C. Belmopan Police Formation (File: June 26, 2017)

Sr. Supt. Howell Gillett

“Several persons were brought in and I believe we have statements in our possession to help guide the investigation; but I don’t want to delve further than that because it could well prejudice the case, which will go to trial in the future; so I don’t want to comment further as to what all we have.”


From Teakettle, Cayo District, Aaron Humes reporting for News Five.

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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