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Jul 31, 2008

Mother calls off funeral, baffled over remains

Story PictureHer son went missing and the remains of twenty-four year old Pedro Guzman, were found on Saturday, July twenty-sixth. On Monday his mother, Lorraine Guzman, thought that the body retrieved from the Calla Creek Road was her son. Dutifully, she identified his shoe at the morgue in Belize City and based on her description, the forensic pathologist Doctor Mario Estradabran confirmed his identity. She was accompanied back to San Ignacio by the police along with the remains in a plastic bag. And yesterday, she had made arrangements for a funeral for her son, who had recently been freed of a murder charge. But there were some questions that Lorraine had about the way her son was killed. There was a report of a bullet hole to the back of his head and she did not observe any holes on the skull when she identified the remains. But more than that, on the day of the funeral when she opened the body bag there was no skull. And that was only the beginning of an already downward spiral.

Lorraine Guzman, Mother of Pedro Guzman (Via Phone)
“That’s when we found out that there was there. He started to take out and he said but there’s no skull in here. I said what? But I know that when they take me in to the stuff to identify it, the skull was there because the skull was there sitting with a warm cap; a Puma warm cap on top of the head. He told me to have a seat and he went inside a room and he came back out and said Doctor Estradabran said the skull was in Belize City. He said because they are doing further examination. They didn’t tell me that. If they had told me that—in fact, they shouldn’t have given me anything if they weren’t finished. They weren’t finished with the investigation and I wouldn’t have made funeral arrangements. They didn’t tell me anything. That was that, I was trying to think because everybody now by this time is in the church, at the house and I’m going crazy. I don’t know what to do. I was asking for advice on how to go about. One of the policemen, Mark Flowers, he is the sergeant. He said but that dah noh nothing, just weh u think di head deh, just dig a hole deh and then after that yoh could bury di skull. I was confused and he said is it a hole or is it a tomb? I said it’s a tomb. Ih seh well you could just put wah lee cement thing deh and put di skull on top of di tomb and then cover it with cement.”

Jose Sanchez
“That sounds crazy.”

Lorraine Guzman
“It sounds very crazy and I said … I was really confused. I came out and then I said well—the driver that Mister Mark had sent out was driving me around—I said I don’t think that’s right. I want to bury him, everything in a box. He said well I have to go back to the church and apologize to everybody and go home and apologize to everybody that was there and tell them what happened. While I was in the process of doing that the police in Cayo, the same one that advised me to put his skull on top or dig a whole and put the skull in there…”

Jose Sanchez
“That’s Mark Flowers?”

Lorraine Guzman
“Mark Flowers called and said I’m not sure if you have the right bag of bones because there is a bag of bones sitting in the police station in San Ignacio that is smelling and that could be your son.”

Jose Sanchez
“Just sitting in the station and it just crossed their minds that it could be your son.”

Lorraine Guzman
“Aha, it just started smelling when I went to ask where the skull of my son is. I haven’t gone to the station since he told me that. I have not gone. How can I go and identify some bones?”

Crispin Jeffries, Assistant Commissioner of Police
“The allegation is not that the police noh know which bone, the allegation is that the bones were given without a skull. That is the allegation I heard. I don’t know if you heard something different but it is that allegation that we are acting on. We are acting on that. But to do that we have also requested a recording from the media house of that specific airing of that callers call because there are sometimes when these callers make these prank calls. We want the media house to furnish us with a copy.”

When we last checked with Lorraine this afternoon she still had not been able to sort out the remains of her son. On one hand she has been told that her son’s skull is in Belize City, and on the other that the set of bones in the Police’s possession in San Ignacio may be her son. And whose bones does she actually have in her possession? No one can confirm that at this point.

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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