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Aug 9, 2023

Whatever Happened to Those Missing Persons?

Have you ever sat and wondered what happened to that close friend who went missing years ago and was never found? Or maybe it was a child who simply disappeared without a trace; or an elderly relative who left home for an evening stroll and never returned. Under Belize’s law, after someone has been missing for seven or more years, they are presumed dead. Whatever the case, the families are often of the view that the circumstances surrounding the disappearance of their loved ones were never fully ventilated or solved, and the investigations into their missing status appear to have stalled with no new leads. News Five’s Marion Ali takes a look back at a few of the missing persons’ investigations that turned cold cases. Here’s that report.


Marion Ali, Reporting

An empty chair occupies the spot where a loved once sat.  The anguish that prevails each time the family gathers at the dinner table at Christmas is no doubt heart-wrenching. There are quite a few families that endure that pain in Belize because while in most cases they know their loved one is no longer alive, they never got closure.


Since, 2018, the family of Aneisha Young experiences that pain every time Christmas draws near. She disappeared just days before the holiday after a night on the city. Her uncle, Nelson Tillett, says almost five years later, they endure the same pain.


Nelson Tillett

Nelson Tillett, Uncle of deceased

“When December come, da like – da lone remembrance fi my sista dehn. My sista break down, my ma break down. I breakdown. Like every year when December, like we nuh really have Christmas like that again, like first.”


Tillett told News Five that when the police investigation into his niece’s disappearance reached a dead end, her mother wanted to seek help from authorities in the U.S, where she resides, but she never got the chance.


Aneisha Young

Nelson Tillett

“My sister mi want actually get the swabs dehn and ship it to America weh dehn could do the forensic there. Or she mi actually may want bring in a private investigator but they nuh – dehn seh that nuh work soh.”


The family of Kyle Latchman share similar sentiments since the police investigation following his disappearance last December yielded no conclusive results.

Voice of: Barbara Latchman

Voice of: Barbara Latchman, Grandmother of Kyle Latchman

“He’s gone for me. But the wish we – I guess the whole family would want to have closure, his body. Tell us where he is, drop me a note. Drop – you know, anything.”


Kyle’s grandmother, Barbara Latchman told News Five off-camera that his mother returned to Belize from the U.S two months after her son was supposed to have arrived in the U.S., and they held a church service in his memory.


Voice of: Barbara Latchman

“It was a service for him, you know, because it can’t be a memorial because we didn’t have no body or nothing. It’s just a service for the family and friends and so, right? Yeah, and they all leave the following week, and they went back. And from then we haven’t heard anything, anything at all.”


This grieving grandmother says that not having had the closure gives her a false sense of hope.


Kyle Latchman

Voice of: Barbara Latchman

“Every day or other day or so he’d pass by and say “Grandma, you need anything? And, Grandma…”, you know, and things like that. And that is what I miss. Most of the time, he have on – he just have ih shirt throw cross ih shoulder, or an undershirt. And most of the time, I sit down at the window and I see the boys coming over the bridge, riding a bicycle with old shirt, my mind reflect right back on him.”


It is likely that the missing persons’ list, dating back two decades, numbers in the hundreds. Some stories gripped us when news broke of their disappearances – like brother and sister duo, Benjamin and Oneila Rash, ages 11 and 9, respectively.  They were selling produce in Cattle Landing, Toledo when they disappeared on August thirty-first, 2010. The two children, who were residents of San Marcos Village, would have been twenty-four and twenty-two years old today.


And we all remember the seven anglers who went missing while on a fishing trip on November fourth, 2007. They departed Belize City on the Ocean Hopper skiff en route to St George’s Caye, and never returned. The body of one of the men, Magistrate Richard Swift was discovered days later near Glover’s Reef.  Up to this day, the six other men, namely: Derrington Escobar, Mauro Quiroz and his son, Abner Quiroz, Nick Nicholson, Gustavo Briceño and Elon Reyes have not been found.


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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