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Oct 15, 2019

Retired Public Officer Chopped to Death in Cow Pen

A retired public officer was brutally killed inside his house sometime over the weekend. The neighbours suspect that he was murdered sometime between the hours of Friday night and early Saturday morning. The last time anyone reported seeing him was on Friday night and when the neighbours didn’t see any movements at his house the next two days, they became worried. Police officers were called out to the scene and there they found Santiago Pop’s body decomposing inside his house. Reporter Andrea Polanco tells us more in the following story.


Andrea Polanco, Reporting

Fifty-eight-year-old Santiago Pop, a retired rural development officer, was chopped to death inside his house in Cow Pen Village. Pop was last seen alive on Friday night. The neighbors became concerned when they didn’t see Pop over the weekend. And those concerns grew when they saw dogs hanging around the house. They went to take a closer look and saw bloody footprints outside of the door and a bad smell coming from inside. Chairman Victor Juarez was one of the first persons to arrive on the scene.


Victor Juarez

Victor Juarez, Chairman, San Juan/Cow Pen

“Their neighbour had not followed his normal routines, which would be music, driving in and out, laundry. So, after the second day that they noticed this wasn’t being followed, they decided to contact the representative of the landlord to try and find out if something was wrong with the individual who was renting the house.   They were alerted by the presence of blood splatters and footprints near the entrance of the door. And that was the first worst sign of the alert.”


And that is when they called the police on Sunday evening after six. When the authorities arrived, the door was closed but it wasn’t locked and inside they made the gruesome discovery. Pop’s decomposing body was found lying on the floor with chop wounds to the back and head.


Victor Juarez

“The body, later on identified as Mr. Santiago Pop, was discovered lying inside, apparently in a pool of blood and he had apparent chop wounds to the body. He was classified dead at the time and we considered that he was already at some level of decomposition because there was already a little smell coming out which had attracted some dogs to the area.”


According to Chairman Juarez, everything seemed to be in order inside Pop’s house and there was no sign of forced entry. Although Pop’s wallet was reported missing, it doesn’t appear that killer or killers took anything else. Pop’s almost brand new pickup truck was still parked in the yard. Juarez says they don’t know why the retired public officer was murdered.


Victor Juarez

“The only information that we overheard is that his wallet couldn’t be found. His vehicle keys were immediately found. The area didn’t appear to be in any sort of disorder as if a thief tried to get in to do some kind of burglary. Everything appeared to be in order, other than the unfortunate incident that led to his death and that is what is puzzling the community even more. They are wondering what could have happened to lead to this terrible crime which is very rare in the community.”


Police also don’t suspect robbery as motive for Pop’s murder. They say that they don’t have a suspect at this time and are hoping that public can help to solve this murder.


Hilberto Romero

Sr. Supt. Hilberto Romero, Deputy Head, National Crimes Investigation Branch

“No, we don’t suspect that there was any robbery. His body was found and we are asking the public’s assistance if they have any information about what transpired or what actually happened at that house because he was found there by himself and he was living there by himself.”


According to Chairman Juarez, Pop lived in San Juan for about a year and only about two months ago he moved over to Cow Pen. He is described as an easy going man who got along with the villagers.


Victor Juarez

“He was a very cool guy; very friendly. The people who knew him in the working environment as the rural development officer say that he was always willing to help and they were happy to have worked with him and that he was one of the best at what he did. He would be seen normally cruising around the village with his vehicle, which meant that he was quite sociable.”


Reporting for News Five, I’m Andrea Polanco.

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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