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May 29, 2023

Woman Executed in Cayo; Police Look for Persons of Interest

Mirza Morales

The execution-style murder of thirty-one-year-old Mirza Morales on Saturday night in El Progresso Village, Cayo, has police seeking several persons of interest. Individuals whom they believe were involved in a double murder a few years ago. In that incident on June 23, 2019, San Pedro tour guide, Mario Graniel and American National, Doctor Gary Swank were shot dead while on a fly-fishing trip near the island. Morales was the girlfriend of Graniel at the time. And this is where police are picking up their investigation. News 5′s Marion Ali reports.


Marion Ali, Reporting

There was no one at this house in El Progresso Village, Cayo today because the only occupant was shot multiple times sometime around nine on Saturday night.  Thirty-one-year-old Mirza Morales, a mother of two, was inside the kitchen washing up dishes after she had sold food earlier that night. That was when her killers pounced.


Hilberto Romero

A.C.P Hilberto Romero, Regional Commander, Eastern Division

“Information is that Mirza was in the kitchen area of a restaurant she operates, when a motorcycle arrived in the area with two male persons, one of the male persons approached her in the kitchen and fired several shots in her direction, causing her fatal injuries. Thereafter, the two male persons, uh, sped off towards Georgeville area on the motorcycle. We are following several leads in regards to this.”


Commissioner of Police, Chester Williams said there are several key components to this particular investigation that the police will be exploring.


Chester Williams

Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police

“When the murder of Dr. Swank and Mr. Graniel took place in San Pedro, the name of the notices was prevalent in that investigation. I am not going to go into details in terms of how that came about, but the public would know that she may have been in a relationship with Mr. Graniel at that particular time, and now that she’s a deceased person and the victim of a murder, we believe that the same persons who are behind Mr. Graniel’s murder and Dr. Swank are the ones who are responsible for her murder. It seems so far from investigation that she was murdered by someone who knew her and knew her well.”



Mario Graniel and Dr. Gary Swank

Williams said there is a perception that the personalities that were involved in the double murder of Mario Graniel and Dr. Gary Swank are the same players in this murder because of the way Morales’ killers targeted her. Police have no one detained, but have several persons of interest who they’re seeking, and their investigation will expand to several areas, including back to San Pedro, where Morales lived with Graniel, a tour guide, when he was killed in a double murder while on a tour back in June 2019. Following that incident, Morales moved to Cayo where she rented the house and operated a restaurant where she was killed. Marion Ali 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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