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Jul 9, 2019

Mother is stabbed to death on her son’s birthday; boy recovering in hospital

A mother was stabbed to death and her four-year-old boy was brutally attacked on his birthday. The series of tragic events started to unfold on Monday evening in Orange Walk and culminated with the discovery of the twenty-four-year-old woman’s body this morning. Yanira Novelo and her little boy were in that northern municipality to get ready for his birthday celebrations, but sometime after one-forty-five on Monday, Novelo was never heard from again.  Her baby boy was stabbed to the abdomen and found wandering the San Lorenzo Road later that evening.  The motive, according to the family, appears to be robbery. Reporter Andrea Polanco went north today to speak with the family about the tragic killing of the young mother. There, she met Novelo’s father who is devastated by the murder of his eldest child.

 

Andrea Polanco, Reporting

What started out as a bright and happy day for twenty-four-year-old Yanira Novelo and her four-year-old son Alexander ended in tragedy. Novelo was stabbed to death and her son was injured on his birthday on Monday. The tragic news has left Gregorio Novelo in shock as he tries to process the brutal killing of his daughter and attack on his grandson.

 

Gregorio Novelo, Father of the deceased

Gregorio Novelo

“It is something you cannot explain. It is just like you cannot believe it, as they say. I am still here and can’t believe it. It is very hard. I wouldn’t want anyone else to go through this. It is very hard.”

 

Novelo lived in San Jose Village with her two babies and her parents. It was her son’s birthday on Monday, so she went into Orange Walk Town to collect monies at a Western Union because she was planning to throw a birthday party for the little boy on Saturday. Novelo recalls their last conversation on Sunday evening:

 

Gregorio Novelo, Father of the deceased

“I believe that her husband sent some money for her for the birthday party. Her husband lives in the U.S because he is working there. She asked permission, she said, ‘ Dad, I am going to Orange Walk to get something for the baby.’ So, told her just take care because I am going to Cayo. That was it. That was the last time we talked. So, yesterday when they informed me that she was missing, I was very shocked. You know, you leave someone good and it’s not as if you are sick or something.”

 

Yanira Novelo

But Yanira never returned home on Monday evening. Her son was found with a stab wound to his mid-section, walking along the San Lorenzo road and that is when the cops and her family realized something was wrong. The family reported her missing on Monday evening. The boy is now recovering in the hospital:

Gregorio Novelo

“From yesterday, my son and other brothers they started to find her. They find first the baby who was also injured. My wife said he was picked up in San Lorenzo. He was walking on the side of the road when someone picked him up and brought him to the police station and then the police brought him to the hospital. He is doing fine. I would like to say that he is good.”

 

And since Monday evening the family began their search for the mother of two. They searched for hours – all into the night- and around eleven or so this morning, they discovered her body in a cane field. It is not clear how Novelo ended up here, because according to her father, she collected her remittances of around four to five hundred dollars on Monday morning and she’d always take the bus back to the village. Her father suspects that she got into a vehicle with someone she knew or that she was forcefully taken, then robbed and killed. Novelo says his daughter was stabbed five times in the chest:

Gregorio Novelo

“Suddenly when they find my daughter she had five stab wounds. She was dead. They found her in the same area where they found Mr. Cervantez. As soon we got that call from the police that is when we realized Yanira was missing. She called me that they found the baby but she was no-where around. Maybe someone was already aware that every month or every now and then she comes here. I believe that. It could be like that, yeah.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“Do you think that the person or persons who killed her knew her?”

Gregorio Novelo

“I believe so because she is not someone to jump in a vehicle without knowing the person. I believe that person is known to her. He knew her very well.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“So, was she driving a car – how did she get into town?”

 

Gregorio Novelo

“No she was a commuter. She was on a passenger’s bus. She comes and goes but this is not the first time, as I said every month or two weeks she receives her money. She stays at home with us and she is good. We don’t have any problem with anyone that I could say that because of that problem something came up.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“So, do you think they killed her for that money?”

Gregorio Novelo

“It could be possible. Only that it could be because we don’t have anyone that we could think. Nothing like that. We don’t have enemies.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“Are you able to share how much she may have had on her or that she collected that day?”

 

Gregorio Novelo

“Well she always got four hundred; five hundred average she got from her husband every time. Beside that I cannot say. But my son said that they didn’t find her ring, her chain, nothing.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“And the money missing?”

 

Gregorio Novelo

“And the money was still missing yeah.”

 

A close family friend told us that he received a text message from Novelo around 1:45 on Monday afternoon. She requested that he placed an order in Belize City for a piñata for her little boy. She was supposed to visit the City on today to pick up that surprise. Her friend says he called and messaged several times after but never heard back. We visited the Western Union outlet where she reportedly conducted business on Monday but were informed that the manager was out and they couldn’t provide further information.

 

Andrea Polanco reporting for News Five.

 

According to Gregoria Novelo, Yanira’s husband has been working in the U.S. for the past three years and he has always sent her money through Western Union. The baby boy, Alexander, is expected to be released from the hospital on Wednesday. Novelo’s killing marks the second murder in Orange Walk for this year.


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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