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Oct 11, 2022

Marine Biologist Killed in Harmonyville

Celso Cawich

Late this evening, police formally arrested and charged John Horace Franklin, a twenty-seven-year-old vendor of Harmonyville, for the crime of murder. Franklin is believed to be one of several persons involved in the cold-blooded attack on well-known marine biologist Celso Cawich, who was shot dead on Saturday night inside his shop at his home in Harmonyville. News Five’s Duane Moody reports.


Duane Moody, Reporting

Thirty-eight-year-old Celso Cawich was here at his shop on the ground floor of a two-storey wooden structure he called home for the past two years. Around 6:30 p.m., two men reportedly approached and multiple shots were fired at Cawich at close range. The men then escaped and got into a waiting vehicle. Enma Gomez who lives next door says that she heard the shots.


Enma Gomez, Neighbour [Translated]

“We only heard the gunshots. We didn’t see anyone because it is very dark. Around 6:30 it is really dark and we couldn’t see anything. We didn’t see who it was. When we heard from the wife, she told us that he died en route to the hospital.”


Cawich was hit multiple times to the body and rushed to the Western Regional Hospital, but did not survive.


Fitzroy Yearwood

ASP Fitzroy Yearwood, Communications Director, Belize Police Department

“Police have since detained two suspects and the investigators also inform me that they are looking for three more persons believed to have been involved in this murder. We will be issuing out posters if needs be, but I am allowing investigators to check on some leads before doing so.”


There is an outpour of condolences for Cawich who is described as a law-abiding citizen who loved his work in conservation. Gomez says that he was helpful in the community.


Enma Gomez

Enma Gomez [Translated]

“We are so sorry about what happened. Only God can assist us at this time because they were really good neighbours. They did not interfere with anyone. They helped everybody who came into the community. If they didn’t have money, they gave them credit, which helped people out.”


So who wanted Cawich dead and why?


ASP Fitzroy Yearwood

“It would want to look like the initial intent was robbery. And from what witnesses have described, they are saying that when Mister Cawich made a movement as to go towards his waist for some reason, that is when the gunmen opened fire on him. So at first they made requests and like I said, he stepped a little back and then these gunmen opened fire on him.”


Duane Moody for News Five.

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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