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Aug 13, 2019

Derrick Ramirez Was Chopped to Death; Main Suspect “Escapes” Police Custody

Derrick Ramirez

An onsite post mortem conducted on the body of Derrick Ramirez on Monday confirmed that he had been murdered.  The results showed that Ramirez died as a result of chop wounds. His body was found in the GraGra Lagoon in Dangriga. Ramirez’s head had been severed and remains missing.  He was last seen alive a week ago at Cross Caye after coming under gunfire by three men.  He reportedly managed to escape into the mangroves, but turned up dead eight days later.  Three persons, including Oscar Williams Junior who escaped police custody under questionable circumstances, were handed over to police by coast guard officials.  However, no one has been charged for Ramirez’s murder. Additionally, two police officers have been charged internally for Williams’ alleged escape. News Five’s Hipolito Novelo takes a look back at the chain of events leading to Monday’s gruesome discovery.

 

Hipolito Novelo reporting

These are the facts: the body of Derrick Ramirez was found on Monday morning here: at GraGra Lagoon in Dangriga. He had been chopped to death. The discovery was made by a local fisherman who noticed that Ramirez’s head had been severed. The identity of the body was confirmed by Ramirez’s father, Guillermo, who recognized his clothing, wristwatch and leg tattoo. Originally from Dangriga, Ramirez was residing in Belize City. He traveled to Dangriga on Saturday, August third on an invitation from his brother Kevin Hernandez to tag along with Joseph Coleman and himself on a diving trip near Cross Caye. Ramirez goes “missing” the following day on Sunday, August fifth, while at Cross Caye. Hernandez reports Ramirez’s disappearance until Tuesday, August sixth, two days after.

 

Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police  (Aug 9, 2019)

Chester Williams

“I have a serious issue with the fact that the incident allegedly occurred on Sunday and police did not know about it until Tuesday, forty-eight hours later. If you had gone to sea with some friends, more so relatives, one of them would have gone missing you would want to ensure that you would inform the authorities as soon as possible so that a proper search can be conducted to find the relative. In this case that was not done. So I don’t want to speculate but those persons who were with Ramirez at that particular time, they too have to be looked at as possible suspects.”

 

Hernandez told Dangriga police that Ramirez came under gunfire by three men while at Cross Caye. Ramirez allegedly escaped into the mangroves and was never seen alive again. Hernandez told police that he recognized the captain. Coast Guard officials captured three suspects, including ring leader Oscar Williams Junior. Those three persons were handed over to Dangriga police.

 

ACP Joseph Myvett

ACP Joseph Myvett, Head, National Crimes Investigation Branch (Aug 9, 2019)

“Those persons were then brought on the Cross Caye by the police and in so doing, one of those persons who was considered to be the main suspect concerning Derrick Ramirez missing, was removed from the other two prisoners by two police officers being an inspector and a constable to conduct a field interview. As a result, those officers then returned to the team a few minutes later, indicating that that person whom they had taken, one Oscar Williams Junior had escaped from them. So as a result of that he too is being searched for.”

 

And at this time Williams has yet to be found. Like Ramirez’s supposed disappearance, Williams’ alleged escaped while in the presence of two police officers is baffling, especially since he was handcuffed.

 

ACP Joseph Myvett, Head, National Crimes Investigation Branch (Aug 9, 2019)

“May I say as well that the inspector in question who took Oscar Williams from the other officers and where the other detainees were is the brother of missing Ramirez. So there is a clear conflict of interest where that is concerned. I must say that we cannot understand how a prisoner can escape from police on an island and from what we have been briefed is that the prisoner was handcuffed. More so, how can a handcuffed prisoner escaped from two police on an island and they could not find him? I don’t understand that. So there are many discrepancies in tier story, many red flags.”

 

Many serious red flags, especially since officers on the caye, heard screaming.

 

Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police (Aug 9, 2019)

“They did say that they heard screaming but not gunshots. I don’t know if they assisted him in escaping. I am thinking something worse than escaping but I am not going cast any aspersion as this time. I will wait and see where the investigation goes. Our interest right now is to find Mr. Williams and I hope by the grace of God that he is alive because if he is not then those officers will have some serious questions to answer.”

 

Those officers have been dealt with internally. They have yet to be charged criminally.  Meanwhile, the Ramirez family is asking the police department to carry out a proper investigation into the murder of Derrick Ramirez.

 

Guillermo Ramirez, Father of Derrick Ramirez (Aug 8, 2019)

“Make them investigate. Make they see about it because for me it does not combine.”

 

Hipolito Novelo

“Would your son have a reason for them to hurt him?”

 

Guillermo Ramirez

“No, I can’t say that because he didn’t live with me. He lived in Belize.”

 

HipolitoNovelo

“And he came down specifically for this trip?”

 

Guillermo Ramirez

“Yes. He called him to go on the trip. For me, if he didn’t call him none of this would have happened.”

 

 

Reporting for News Five, I am HipolitoNovelo.

 

A source contacted News Five late this evening to share that the two cops removed Oscar Williams from the holding cell and took him to Cross Caye to show them where Ramirez’s body was. We were told that if indeed Williams managed to escape, he did so with the assistance of a notorious underworld boss in Dangriga whose tentacles has penetrated the Dangriga police department. We were also told that investigators have been given the names of the alleged killers and a possible motive concerning Ramirez’s murder. We’ll keep following this story.  


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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