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Dec 29, 1999

Unidentified body found in Belize River

Story PicturePolice suspect foul play in connection with the discovery of a body found floating in the Belize River today. Around nine forty-five this morning, police received an anonymous tip reporting that the body of a man was floating in the Belize River near mile five and a half on the Northern Highway. When members of the Criminal Investigations Branch pulled the decomposed corpse from the river, they saw several large chop wounds on the man’s face. The matter is being treated as a homicide. Corporal James Moreira is in charge of the investigation.

Q: "Do you think this body floated down river from some place up higher?"

Corporal James Moreira, CIB Investigator

"That this is not the originality of the body, it might have floated from somewhere, but what we do when we conduct investigations is to look into the matter, to find the last or if the person is recognized because at the moment we cannot identify the person. So we need the help of the public to help identify the body."

Because of the decomposed state of the body, police pathologist Mario Estradabran performed the autopsy on site. Estradabran places the time of death sometime on December twenty-seventh. The man is estimated to be between the ages of twenty-five to thirty, weighing about one hundred eighty pounds and about five feet, five inches in height. He was of Mestizo Creole descent and was found wearing red jeans pants, a white T-shirt with the number eleven printed on front and was barefoot. Estradabran says the man died after multiple chop wounds were inflicted to his face. In addition to forensic findings, the physical appearance, fingerprints and clothing will be used help to identify the body. Corporal Moreira says missing persons reports from police stations countrywide will be checked to see if any fit the man’s description.

Corporal James Moreira

"Although we deal with missing persons reports, we have to check countrywide, because people can travel from one area of the country to another area."

At news time tonight, the body had not been identified but police say they are investigating leads they’ve received since it was found. Immediately following the postmortem, the body was buried at Lord’s Ridge Cemetery.

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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