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Feb 6, 2018

Family, Friends Shocked, Hurt by Brutal Murder of Immigration’s Israel Perez

Israel Perez

The body of a missing Immigration Officer was found today at Harmonyville, off the George Price Highway. Israel Perez, a resident of Saint Matthew’s Village and father of a young boy, had been missing for days and this morning, his family, friends and colleagues had the most difficult time coming to terms with his brutal murder. Perez was stabbed and his body dumped in a shallow grave; he was wearing only his boxers. Interestingly, the body was discovered one and a half blocks from where a severed head of Hilton Wade was found late November.  It is likely that the life of the affable young man was taken by someone he knew but as to why; that is still unknown.  So far, the police have detained two persons who Perez is believed to be acquainted with; one is well known to the law. Perez’s chain, power wash machine, stereo and vehicle have been recovered in Cotton Tree.   News Five’s Duane Moody was in Harmonyville as police processed the scene.


Duane Moody, Reporting

A Saint Matthews family’s worst fears were confirmed just before eight a.m. today when the body of twenty-seven-year-old Israel Perez was discovered in a shallow grave. His limbs were bound before he was stabbed multiple times and buried here, some two hundred yards off the George Price Highway in Harmonyville. Perez was officially reported missing on Monday after a person was seen removing items from his home the previous day and Israel was not answering his phone. His absence from work on Monday at the Immigration Department in Belmopan after completing a week-long vacation also sounded alarms that something was wrong.


Beverly Tillett Sambula

Beverly Tillett Sambula, Immigration Assistant 1, Immigration Department

“Israel has been with the department for some years now. I supervised him for a little less than two years. This is a real shocker for all of us. Israel was such a sweet, sweet coworker. He used to always come and talk to us about his problems but we never expected something like this to end his life. He was on vacation leave for one week and he was supposed to report back to work on Monday. And we became concerned when we started hearing about him being missing late Sunday.”


Israel was the father of a four-year-old boy that carried his namesake. According to his common-law-wife, Jasmine Arce, he visited with them last Thursday, but Israel was last seen alive with at least two men on Saturday night; one of whom is in police custody after he was found driving Israel’s car and in possession of some his belongings.


Jasmine Arce

Jasmine Arce, Common-law Wife of Murder Victim

“He usually goes to pick up his kid on Sunday, but I thought he had moved because I didn’t see his dogs and his cars. But I did not receive any message or calls from him and then I called his brother and that’s when everybody said they are trying to get to him, but they can’t cause his phone was turned off.”


Perez’s vehicle was seen in the area around two a.m. Sunday by a resident. But he said, he thought nothing of it, until he was alerted by the news of Israel’s disappearance. This morning he went out looking for the body and he and his son came across the shallow grave.


Voice of: Resident

“When I go the report from the news stating that Israel Perez was missing. Immediately I was shocked because the same vehicle that he drove to work is the same vehicle that was driving in this road here often. We decided this morning—because I couldn’t sleep—me and my son decided to take a walk in the area where we saw the vehicle go. And when we searched the area, my son looked at me and said, “Dad, there is something here; do you smell it?” I said, “Yes I smell it. Remove yourself from there!” And I removed some of the brambles and when I removed the brambles, that’s where I saw the body in a shallow grave.”


Family and friends gathered in proximity as police and Scenes of Crime personnel processed the scene. Pathologist, Doctor Mario Estradabran would later arrive to conduct a postmortem on site. Two hours later, the decomposing body of Perez was placed in a casket and taken away for immediate burial by Serene Sunset Funeral Home in the company of the family. Assistant Commissioner of Police Joseph Myvett says that a motive for the crime is not known at this time.


Joseph Myvett

ACP Joseph Myvett, Head, National Crimes Investigation Branch

“The decomposed body of a Hispanic male was found which was later identified to be missing Belmopan resident Israel Perez. Police are still on the scene and the investigation is ongoing. Also one person has been detained for questioning in regards to this discovery.”


Relatives and friends are calling for justice.


Beverly Tillett Sambula

“As a department we are just calling for justice. We want the police to beef up whatever investigation they are doing because this is a life that never needed to go down this way. So we are asking the police department to please assist not only the immigration Department, but also for the family to bring closure—not only for the body to be found, but for justice to be served.”


Israel Perez

Jasmine Arce

“It’s a shock. I just want justice. I want them to find who did this. I want the person to go to jail because Israel has a kid; he shouldn’t have done that to Israel—whosoever did. And it hurts me because I never thought my child would grow up without a dad. He always went to see him; he called every morning and it hurts, it hurts bad.”


Duane Moody 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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1 Response for “Family, Friends Shocked, Hurt by Brutal Murder of Immigration’s Israel Perez”

  1. Marwaione says:

    So sad, can’t believe the state this country is going too. People that buy stolen goods or are in possession of them should be given immediate jail time of 1 year no questions asked. This will stop the nonsense of stealing and selling for money. I hope the police can pin done a good investigation and put these demons away for life.

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