Belize - Belize News - - Great Belize Productions - Belize Breaking News
Home » Featured, Miscellaneous » Massive search for missing Rash children
Sep 7, 2010

Massive search for missing Rash children

Benjamin & Oneila Rash

A search continues for two missing siblings from the village of San Marcos in the Toledo District. As we told you last Thursday, they have been missing since August thirtieth when they were selling craboo and lemons near Cattle Landing. Anxiety reached boiling point among family and the community over their disappearance this past Sunday over speculation that the kids had been abducted by the owners of the American Crocodile Educational Sanctuary. The owners were on Ambergris Caye reportedly rescuing crocodiles when the sanctuary was set ablaze by the villagers. A News Five team has been following this after story since Saturday and has dramatic coverage beginning with the search on Saturday.

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

Residents of the peaceful Mayan community of San Marcos are tonight searching desperately for two children who went missing a week ago.  The circumstance surrounding the mysterious disappearance of siblings Oneila and Benjamin Rash is shrouded in superstition but the Belize Police Department, through its Toledo formation, has wasted no time in mobilizing its force to conduct an intensive search of the district.  On Monday last the duo, accompanied by their father, set out on foot to a bus stop situated at the entrance of the village.  The children, ages nine and eleven, were en route to Punta Gorda Town that morning to sell fruits they had picked from trees in their yard.  Oneila and Benjamin were last seen by their father, Pedro Rash, at the junction of the Southern Highway awaiting a bus.

pedro rash

Pedro Rash, Father of Missing Children

“The last time I saw them was Monday morning at six-thirty.  I gone along with them by the junction.  I left them and then I continue going.  From there they catch the bus noh going to Hopeville.”

At that point the children were met by their uncle Domingo who was also heading to work in the direction of town.

Domingo Rash, Uncle of Missing Children

domingo rash

“When I reach the junction of San Marcos Village we all boarded the Cox bus from San Antonio together.  We went ahead, we’re on our way, while reaching Cattle Landing the two children un-board the bus [near] the area where the mechanic man has piled the vehicles there.  They had un-board the bus just about five meters from that area.  I had get off of the bus also.  I see when those pikney, those two children, went and they made their way to sell what they have to sell.”

From there Oneila and her older brother Benjamin started their task for the day. They worked the area together, on foot, selling lime and craboo.

Domingo Rash

“At around nine-thirty to ten, I was doing a work right by wah cement building.  I was dressing underneath the window, glover windows and I see the two children pass by with their two buckets.  I see Benjamin leading the way first then the little girl with the lee bucket and I never wondered if they will never return back again.”

The reality later that night was that they did not return home.  That was when Pedro alerted Punta Gorda Police that his children, who were only two days shy of beginning a new school year at San Marcos R.C. School, were missing.

Pedro Rash

“I gone deh like ‘bout nine-thirty, em, that was Monday evening noh. 9:30 or so and I gone report it one time and ker dehn picture and reported it one time to the police so that police could em help me noh.  But what they told me it haftu to be like twenty-four hours noh, let’s say two days.  Then after that third, four days then they will call [them] missing persons noh.  So police like I understand like dehn give us like one day or two days fu see if they reach home noh.”

And when they didn’t reach home by Wednesday evening a massive campaign was launched by the Toledo police formation to comb the entire district for them.

Isani Cayetano

“The last reported sighting of siblings Benjamin and Oneila Rash was here in the village of Cattle Landing some three and a half miles outside of Punta Gorda Town.  That was Monday August 31st at 3:48 p.m.  Since then no one has seen or heard from the missing children despite numerous attempts by family and friends including the Punta Gorda police formation to locate them.”

According to Senior Superintendent Robert Mariano despite not having any solid leads the department has been trying its best to locate them and is stopping at nothing until the children are found and safely returned to their family.

robert mariano

Robert Mariano, Officer Commanding Toledo Police Formation

“We have put the particulars of these children over the internet.  We have also sent it to Interpol.  We have also sent their particulars to all the formations in this country and the police here in the district have continued a search for these children.  We have checkpoints on the highway, as you know.  The police officers they have the photographs of these children and every vehicle that has come in into Punta Gorda Town and leaving the district is shown these photograph, photographs, and asked if they have seen these children.”

Notwithstanding the efforts of some eighty officers deployed along the Southern Highway, up until Sunday the search for the missing children was fruitless. Of the many cars and buses that have been stopped and thoroughly checked there has been no trace of Benjamin or his sister.  Residents of San Marcos believe they were both abducted and used to feed crocodiles at a nearby sanctuary.  The owner of the property has been accused of that monstrosity.

Marcos Choc, Resident, San Marcos Village

“Well to me he’s doing this business like, maybe he’s taking kids like just to feed the alligators you know.  That’s the only best suggestion that I can give you know.  Or some people say they just take their parts for the children and just sell it you know.”

Although police cannot divulge too much information or prove that theory they have not ruled out that possibility and as such are awaiting the return of the crocodile breeder to Punta Gorda Town for questioning.  Meanwhile the mother of the missing children, Louisa Rash who speaks only K‘ekchi, is making a desperate plea for their safe return.

louisa rash

Louisa Rash, Mother of Missing Children

“I want them to come back home because I’m not feeling good without them.  If anybody saw them or where they are they could please call the police and send them back home.”

Punta Gorda police have visited all the communities within the Toledo District and have gone as far as Santa Cruz Village in Guatemala to notify residents and law enforcement authorities of the mysterious disappearance of Oneila and Benjamin Rash.  Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

The police department is being assisted tremendously by Senator Pulcheria Teul who, in her capacity as the executive director of the Toledo Maya Women’s Council, has offered her vehicle and other resources to the search for Oneila and Benjamin Rash. We’ll have more on this developing story, including an interview with Vincent Rose later on in the newscast.

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.

Advertise Here

19 Responses for “Massive search for missing Rash children”


    What about all the other kids gone missing without a trace, are there photos still at interpols, or on the net, etc. Who is the voice of those lost and forgotten kids.

    There is just not enough being done by parents or the GOB to protect the children there.When are the parents going to learn that no where is really safe anymore.

    I hope that these kids will be ok, and I hope, and i hope…………………………….. for a miracle.

    Anyway this story is twist and turned the fact remained that the uncle was the last person to have seen the kids alive.

  2. BZNinCALI says:

    The Police made the parents wait at least 24 hours. If someone took these children, they could be anywhere after all this time. Toledo is still isolated enough for people to still have that sense of community in the towns villages. Nobody minds their own business in Belize, the Police need to develop sources in those communities, no matter what story they tell the authorities, in small villages & on country roads, everyone can tell you who walked by & when.

    It is easy to scapegoat foreigners & let our imagination run wild but there is no justification for not taking a report & investigating immediately when we consider the ages of these children.

  3. Red Bear says:

    The BDF or police in Belize need a good bloodhound dog trained to track the scent of a person. Trained bloodhounds are amazing, and can follow a person’s smell a long way to help find them.

    Lacking one, let’s pray for these children.

  4. macal rivera says:

    I am praying, but at the same time really mad, mad mad with the parents, After hearing news and knowing how isolated PG is, how can these parents take such serious chances to send these children so far to sell craboo, for God sake, the parents are to blame, sorry to be so hard on them at this time, but I am really upset,
    and where the heck is the people from the symposium from last week, it is now we need you for these children, get out there down PG and do something, don’t spend money on takling, eating and drinking, let see your strenght now, please educate these parents on some kind of proper parenting, where the heck in PM Gregory Choc and the woman who di fight for land, we need to hear your voices and help for these your brother and sisters, common people.

    Lord I pray for the return of these angels, in good health.

  5. belizeaninterest says:

    Come on everyone lets make more noise. More noise is being made for the crocodiles down south than for these poor missing children. Lets go to CNN and NY Times just like the white man is doing because his house was burnt by some locals that feel that there is something wrong with their neighbor.

  6. Nicole says:

    Belize should make some noise like that when one of their kids get killed for no reason

  7. NIkki says:

    This is the white man ways of making a living….Mr. Rash makes his living by sending his kids to sell lime and craboo…..I hope they return home safely

  8. Voice for my people says:

    totally agree parents need to b educated on parenting n ways to secure their children esp in Toledo. however, cultural asssessment to b done b/c we dont know the family(if they just have to send their Kids to help them sell) we dont how their daily livings is live. we just got to respect the CULTURE!!!! WE NEED TO TALK!!!!! these kids have RIGHTS I DONT C WHY POLICE TAKE 2 days to investigate mein!!!!!!! I DONT FEEL GOOD ABOUT THIS AT ALLLLL!!!!!!!!!!! HUH?????? GOD HELP US!!!!!!!!

  9. Rafael Shol says:

    On local news, he calls us savages, on CNN he doesn’t. Count your blessings for not being scalped and eaten alive. or at least……. not yet.
    Get out while you still can.

  10. zoomom says:

    Rafael Shol- you are in Texas, what do you know???? Mobs that burn down homes ARE savages!!!
    Why don’t YOU live in BZE???

  11. Maria Marshall says:

    Just over a week ago I read the shocking news of the two missing children and was appalled that considering their ages, action was not immediately put into place by the police.
    Poor little children, it is now over a week since they disappeared, I pray to God they are safe and will soon be home again where they belong.
    However if in otherwise unfortunate circumstances, I do believe that justice will prevail, because it always does. In one way or another!
    Maria M.

  12. misslady says:

    Voice for my people says: these kids have RIGHTS

    Sorry dahlin, but lotta people think they don’t and lotta people think the Mayans dare oppose a croc farm in their vicinity. Lotta people think only the foreigners have rights. Independence? Cho, we traded one massa for another and this new massa say we savages and have no right to be superstitious and should be ashamed of the Mayan people and listen to this: that they were doing us a huge, huge favor by opening a croc farm in the Mayan’s backyard.
    This new massa say all rights belong to them. We mi tink the Brits were bad….they never insulted our culture like this tho.

  13. misslady says:

    Zoomom, you have children? Please don’t say yes if you have animals and call them children. I don’t blame you, I’ve watched FAMILY GUY too. That’s the model you base family life off, where the DOG is smarter, kinder, more loving than all the humans?

    Did the pics of those two Mayan children every got stronger in your mind for one minute as opposed to the pic of the burned out house?

  14. misslady says:

    Who here knows that the Mayans go down to the river to wash their clothes? Who here know that the Mayans go down to the river to bathe…to carry water? Who here knows that since forever the Mayans have to have something: a machete or big stick nearby when they complete these necessities of daily life? But most of all, who all here CARES…..da sin, da sin, da sin!!!!!!!

  15. zoomom says:

    miss lady – no, i have never watched the family guy. I have 4 adult children and 4 grand children. I have 5 brothers and sisters. And pets that we’re rescued. I would never go out and purchase an animal when there are so many just dumped that need homes.

  16. halspry says:

    miss shady: we know all about you. You are so wrong…. but you will never know.
    Like Elgin and others you are intent on causing further division and anger because you hate the white people so much that it doesn’t matter what the truth is.
    If a mob burned YOUR house…..would you think it was a crime………or make excuses for the guilty parties?

  17. zoomom says:

    miss lady- As far as the missing kids – I think ANYONE who would harm or take a child should be locked up for the rest of their life. I hate predators of children. Yes, it happens in the US too. There is no repairing them. If they do it once, they will do it again, and everyone’s children are at risk.

    I also think ANYONE who would burn and destroy an innocent man’s home and life’s work because they are angry at the wrong person should also be brought to justice, and be made to repay for their sin.

  18. Belizean says:

    It is unfortunate that these children are still missing. It is also unfortunate that both incidents- missing children and arson- are being used to trash the Maya community of Southern Belize and the rest of our beautiful country. Belize is like any other country who has its past and present experience with superstition and bush doctors. Every nation has a culture based on beliefs and a way of life. Our way of life in particular is what makes each of us unique in the eyes of others. Arson is punishable to the person who committed the crime, but an entire community is not to blame, in my point of view.

    Why do the Mayan community have to be classified as savages and not human beings? A people of indigenous origin lost two innocent children, where is the compassion to their emotions? I must say that the Maya people are not savages and no Belizean is and never will be ashamed of themselves to have anyone living in this country. Not the Mayan community nor the rest of the migrating population. We seem to forget that the Maya community were here before industrialization became popular in the Americas.

    I am a proud Belizean of a cultural mix of Mayan, Spaniard, and Garifuna. My country is a unique country that is striving to keep its cultural diversity, the Mayan culture being one of our most delicate. Shame on those who feel the need to rid our country of any kind of people. The land is for all children of God. God alone is the ultimate judge of our people and our nation.

  19. hal spry says:

    News on the ACES arson and murder of crocodiles:
    At this time Five crocodiles were found dead, hacked
    and slaughtered.
    And still no arrests.
    Still no police report.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login