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Jan 17, 2003

Family questions death of relative

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A post-mortem has been conducted on a body discovered Thursday evening, but medical science has not fully cleared up the mystery of how a Belize City man met his untimely end. News 5′s Jacqueline Woods has more.

Jacqueline Woods, Reporting

The last time Remija Linares saw her brother alive was almost three weeks ago. On that day fifty-two year old Russell Anthony Linares made a brief visit at his family’s house and then left.

Remija Linares, Sister

“Christmas Day. Because he come by from his son house and he tell me seh that he wah use the bathroom. I tell ah, boy you only come here when you want bathe. I seh, you mustn’t come. He seh, no, I noh gwine goh bathe, I going to use the bathroom, I noh wah tek long.”

Jacqueline Woods

“So that was the last time you saw your brother alive?”

(shakes head, yes)

The family says Linares had a drinking problem and was rarely at home. So when they did not hear or see him for several weeks they did not think anything was wrong…that is until the family received news that his body had been found.

Remija Linares

“Yesterday evening, my brother from over the neighbour tell me, Remi they kill Russell. And I tell him, what! He said, yes, I just get a phone call saying that Russell dead.”

On Thursday evening, Linares’ badly decomposed body was found inside this abandoned wooden building located behind Gilda’s Cool Spot Bar on Euphrates Avenue. It was laying face up and authorities believe the body may have been there since weekend. Linares says she does not know what may have caused her brother’s death, but because of his alcoholism, he was beaten up on several occasions by unknown assailants who took advantage of his infirmity. Linares recalls one incident in which her brother told them that he was attacked by two men last August.

Remija Linares

“I told him who did that to you Russell? He said, I don’t know. He seh, I noh know who knock me. I tell him, boy tell me who bruk your jaw. He said, I don’t know because I will find out for myself, he said, who knocked me.”

Linares says since that incident, her brother was unable to eat properly and was scheduled to go away to get further medical attention. Today in a police press release, authorities stated that a post mortem examination revealed that the cause of death was asphyxia due to strangulation.

Remija Linares

“I want the murderer because I know he does not deserve it. He use to drink his rum yes, but… And everybody in the family want that to happen, want justice for him.”

The family believes Linares died sometime after Sunday because on that day a friend told them that she saw him alive by the club and gave him five dollars. Russell Anthony Linares was buried on Thursday night. Jacqueline Woods for News 5.

Late this evening, police press officer G. Michael Reid contacted News 5 to say that the authorities no longer suspect foul play in the death of fifty-two year old Russell Anthony Linares. According to the police, their investigation revealed that there is no evidence to suggest that Linares was murdered, and that the marks found on his neck and body were the result of a serious fall the deceased suffered last August. Authorities say they do not know why Linares would have told his family that he was beaten, but their investigations reveal that on that day Linares was drunk and apparently fell off the roof of the abandoned building, breaking his jaw and several ribs. The police say the injuries never did heal and Linares likely died as a result of his deteriorating health.

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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