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Jan 26, 2023

N.F.S.S. & Police Department Working to Identify Human Remains

There have been a number of persons that have been reported missing and are presumed dead.  Earlier this week, on Monday afternoon, the skeletal remains of a male were discovered in a shallow grave in the vicinity of the Port of Belize. Today, News Five spoke with ComPol Chester Williams, as well as the Executive Director of the National Forensic Science Service who say, from both an investigative and a scientific approach that they expect to determine the identity of the deceased.


Chester Williams

Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police

“At this time we are still trying to identify who that person is. We are hoping that maybe through the clothing found in the shallow grave, we can match that to the clothing that was being worn by one of those persons when they went missing, but so far, we have not been able to do so.”


Gian Cho

Gian Cho, Executive Director, National Forensic Science Service

“We are doing DNA testing on unidentified skeletal remains or human remains that are in an advance state of decomposition. We’ve been doing that for the past several years. What’s changing is that we are doing it with a faster turnaround time, more efficiency. The set of remains from that particular case from this week, it is still pending. A post-mortem examination – it still goes through, a medico legal post-mortem examination and an anthropological assessment of the remains during which a sample is collected; typically certain types of skeletal samples. And if we have a relative or a next of kin that suspects it to be their loved one then they have to provide a sample for us to be able to confirm the identity. That has not happened yet. So the post-mortem needs to happen. Currently we have about fifteen post-mortem cases aside from that case so there is an issue in terms of backlog of cases. Eventually, hopefully by the end of next week, we have collected the necessary samples and the total time for DNA to identify any individual that would come up in cases like that would be about two or three months. It can be faster, depending if the conditions are right with shipping and sample collections.”


Duane Moody

“So within three months we will know the identity?”


Gian Cho

“That is our aim to get any unidentified skeletal remains or human remains identified the latest within a three-month time period. The sooner the better.”

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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