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Dec 20, 2021

Teens Ran Away from Transition Home; Investigation Underway

Two employees of the Department of Human Services face disciplinary action after three teen girls were able to escape from the transition home where they were residing. The girls all fled on the same day, December eleventh, from the facility in Belize City, and while one has been located, the other two are still on the run and have only been sighted at relatives’ homes. Director of the Department of Human Services, Shawn Vargas told New Five that although the two girls have been out of their custody for over a week now, he is sure they are not in danger.


Shawn Vargas, Director, Department of Human Services

“They left together, not all at the same time, but on the same day. It’s something that we are looking into from the Department from my administrative team. We immediately put some things in place and we moved around some staff, removed a couple staff from the institution to kinda look at what’s happening there to deal with our own investigation as to what could have caused such a significant breach, noh.”


Marion Ali

“Was it a matter where the children were subjected to a certain type of treatment, behaviour, or exposure to anything indecent why they decided to run away? And where did they run to? Were they seeking refuge?”


Shawn Vargas

Shawn Vargas

“No, we – it is (chuckling), it is a residential care facility. It’s no subjection to any ill-treatment or anything like that. The home is what we call our transition home. It’s for grown children – almost adults and they do have a level of liberty and that was taken advantage of and they used that opportunity to leave. We have transferred two persons and transferred them because we’re doing an internal investigation as to what has happened. And I don’t want to say what is going to be the end result of it but we are looking to go at the stiffest penalty, noh because it’s an internal breach and I won’t shy away from that, for three girls to leave the facility without permission in one day, that’s an internal breach, and we are dealing with that definitely, so I can tell you sanction is going to be given.”

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