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Jan 21, 2020

3 Days Later – Alison MacKenzie is Still Missing!

Alison MacKenzie

Where is Alison MacKenzie? The forty-three-year-old tourist from the United States remains missing tonight after she vanished during an overnight tour on Rendezvous Caye.  What should have been a short, fun trip, has turned into heartache for her Arizona family. Search efforts today for MacKenzie have all proved futile.  At news time, what we do know is that the family doesn’t believe that her boyfriend is connected to her disappearance. Reporter Andrea Polanco has more in the following story.


Andrea Polanco, Reporting

It’s been three days since American national Alison MacKenzie seemingly vanished into thin air while on Rendezvous Caye. The Belize Coast Guard’s search of the caye and neighbouring islands today didn’t turn up anything. Up to news time, forty-three-year-old MacKenzie remains missing. The Arizona woman and her boyfriend, fifty-eight-year-old Paige Rote, were on an overnight tour with Raggamuffin Tours on the caye. They reached their destination on Friday evening but by the following morning MacKenzie was gone and nowhere to be found. The circumstances under which MacKenzie disappeared have left her family wondering what exactly happened. This is what Police said on Monday.


Hilberto Romero

Sr. Supt. Hilberto Romero, Deputy Head, National Crimes Investigation Branch [File: January 20th, 2020]

“Information is that they arrived on the island on Friday and they were camped on tents and she was last seen walking around the island around ten p.m. On Saturday, around six a.m., Paige Rote reported that when he woke up he couldn’t find his girlfriend and he made this report to the captain.”


But MacKenzie’s family members dispute the time that she was seen retiring to her tent. They report that she was seen going to bed after two on Saturday morning. Police also told the media that MacKenzie was drinking. Her erratic behavior on Friday night was reportedly noticed by tour officials.


Roque Canul

Lieutenant Roque Canul, Operations Officer, Belize Coast Guard [File: January 20th, 2020]

“Information was that sometime during the course of the night, Friday, she started behaving or acting somewhat suspicious.”


Andrea Polanco

“Are you able to elaborate – did she seem sad or overly excited - what was she showing?”


Lieutenant Roque Canul

“I would say kinda erratic – this is what we gathered from the tour guys who were out there along with them.”


Andrea Polanco

“Have you gathered anything as to her state – was she in a depressed state?”


Lieutenant Roque Canul

“So far we have not received that kind of information.”


So, where is Alison MacKenzie? At the moment, no one seems to know. Law enforcement agencies are investigating and searching for the mom of two. What we do know at this time is that police don’t consider her boyfriend a suspect in her disappearance. In the court of public opinion, it sounds impossible that MacKenzie would disappear without a trace while on a trip with fourteen other tourists and three tour guides. Questions have been raised whether she went out for a late night swim and under estimated the conditions of the sea, which we were told, may not have been favourable for swimming during that time. And while that may be one theory – speculations are that perhaps something more sinister happened on the caye and that someone knows more about her whereabouts – but police have nothing to prove this. Her family also doesn’t believe that her boyfriend had a hand in her disappearance.


On the Phone: Sister of Alison MacKenzie

“We have talked to the boyfriend. Me and my mom have both talked to him. He is still in Belize. And no we don’t think that he is involved. He is just as distraught as the rest of the family is.”


What we do know about Alison MacKenzie is that she has experienced tremendous grief last year – with the deaths of her father and step-father. She came to Belize with her boyfriend on an extended stay to get away for a while. We have learnt that she and her boyfriend had plans to buy a property in southern Belize. The couple has been in Belize since December of last year and scheduled to return to the USA in May of this year.


Alison MacKenzie

On the Phone: Sister of Alison MacKenzie

“She was just coming there because our father passed away last year and then our step-father passed away two months ago. So, she was just going there to try to get a break from life here. Just take a little break from things and regroup and find some peace for a little while.”


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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