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Feb 7, 2012

Minor drowned, but did phone tell a different tale?

Dimitri Mena

Was a seventeen year old in San Antonio, Cayo District, murdered or did he fall in a well and drown? The family of Dimitri Mena believes he was killed and thrown in the well. About a week ago, Dimitri’s body was recovered after he did not venture back to his family house in the village.  His family says that his cell phone found near the well has the answers. News Five’s Jose Sanchez spoke to both the family and the police on this perplexing case.

Jose Sanchez, Reporting

Seventeen-year-old Dimitri Mena’s body was found in this well one week ago. The police recorded the incident as a drowning. But the family believes he was murdered. Dimitri Senior recounted what unfolded when the family began a search.

Dimitri Mena Sr., Father of Drowned Minor

“Like five a.m., we expected him to come that same morning, but he didn’t come. I figured that the police officer took him to jail or something like that. I wait like twelve o’clock the day and then I figure the policeman didn’t take my son there and I call the police in san Ignacio and the police officer tell me they didn’t get any name like Dimitri there. I get frightened and I come and talked to my family and I said make we go check through the village. And we check all around and didn’t find him.”

But at a nearby well the family recognized his personal belongings and signs of a sinister encounter.

Dimitri Mena Sr.

“There was a big well and there I found his slippers in the water—one inside and two yards away another one was there with a piece of the phone behind the slippers. And I said nowhere I find him so I said my son gone in to the well.”

Dimitri Mena Sr.

Jose Sanchez

“The police say it’s just a regular drowning that your son likes to drink. You are saying something different?”

Dimitri Mena Sr.

“But he tell me it’s just drowning but I figured it’s not just drowning because he had some guys with him drinking because inside the well you can see where they sat was mash up and you can see where they start trouble or something.”

Jose Sanchez

“When it comes to the phone, you are saying there was something in regards to the phone; a recorded message or something he left on it?”

Dimitri Mena Sr.

“Yes sir. I got the phone right here. When the police officers take him out of the well, he got it inside the pocket. My biggest son bring it home and took out the water and all came out and when he plugged it, the phone functioned; it worked.”

Jose Sanchez

“What was the message that the recorded?”

Dimitri Mena Sr.

“My son got it right now. On the recording it had some guys arguing; like fighting. And the last question; the last one talk and I hear like make we hold on to the man and right there everything gone.”

Jose Sanchez

“So you have the recording. Have you handed it over to the police as yes?”

Dimitri Mena Sr.

“Yes I passed it to him, but he told me that that was just in the bar. But I told him it was not in the bar; that happened right there by that place there where they were drinking.”

Alvan Gentle

Supt. Alvan Gentle, O.C., Cayo Police Formation

“The official information from the police for that matter is that this person had drowned. In fact the body was taken to Belize City for a postmortem was performed and doctor certified that cause of death was in relation to drowning. So that’s basically as we know in respect to this.”

Jose Sanchez

“The family is alleging that there is some recording that was taken off his cell phone chip. That the police had and that this gentleman was able to record his own alleged murder or death. Does the police know anything about that or have any of that information?”

Supt. Alvan Gentle

“Well I personally don’t know anything about that and we definitely don’t have any such information. We have an officer in San Antonio who is the initial police officer who dealt with the matter. There is no need for him to keep any property for the deceased as such. Whatever was retrieved from him at the time was retrieved by the family and I would vouch to say categorically that the police does not have any kind of document or property of that sort for this person. So where they got that story from, I don’t know. I would want to know where this is coming from so that the police in any case can do a thorough investigation into this drowning.”

Jose Sanchez

“Now in regards to this actual drowning, does the police have any lead or what may have caused this young man to have fallen into this well? Does he have any patterns of behavior?”

Supt. Alvan Gentle

“Again from the police in San Antonio and from previous encounters with this individual, he’s a minor—about seventeen years and he has a history of involving in alcoholic beverages. In other words, this person was supposedly or allegedly under the influence of alcohol when he met his untimely death by drowning.”

Dimitri Mena Sr.

“I give this police officer right here, but I don’t know if he took it to San Ignacio.”

Jose Sanchez

“But if the San Ignacio police is not aware of it, are you going to take this recording to them now?”

Dimitri Mena Sr.

“Yes, I will try my best to see how to find him; somebody who did it. The person supposed to pay too. I just can’t leave my son; make them throw him out and like that.”

Unfortunately the battery would not charge this time to retrieve the last recording on the phone.  Reporting for News Five, Jose Sanchez.

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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12 Responses for “Minor drowned, but did phone tell a different tale?”

  1. Storm says:

    The loss of life under mysterious circumstances requires careful investigation, not some lazy cop leaping to a conclusion so he won’t have to work.

    ComPol needs to take charge of this matter and see it through to a credible end. I think it is unlikely that a 17-year old man — sober or drunk — just falls into a well to his death.

    What do you think?

  2. Public Officer says:

    Sounds fishy indeed. Even if he fell where were his so called ‘friends’. No matter the character or history of a person it’s still a life lost and warrants a proper investigation.

  3. RADICAL says:

    Of course not!!!!!!but it have been the trend for our untrained police officers to dictate what happens with these suspicious deaths……..there are toooooooo many of these type of deaths that goes unsolved simply because our police officers DON’T INVESTIGATE PROPERLY……or simply treat each death as a possible murder first and foremost before dismissing all the possibilities. They need to know their limitation and allow the proper authorities to contribute to holistic investigation……as the doctor’s report have the doctor disclose his own findings.

    I and many other Belizean are sick and tired of the negligence of the POLICE DEPARTMENT…..but the truth be told they are the primary contact and seems to be the last part of the determining factor in whether a case be investigate and goes to trial…….regrettably THEY ALSO DETERMING THE RATE OF CONVICTION IN OUR JUDICIAL SYSTEM…….I agree that the commissioner need to step up to the plate in this case and ensure that a complete investigation be conducted and further ensure that the police department recognize the role they play in the process. If not go home!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. belizeanpride says:

    typical case of unsolved deaths that our so called wanna be police officers do, no trained unqualified cops take case where it ends with a unsolved case of death. not the first nor the last it will be until the department reshapes it’s dep. and train officers with the correct tools also to do this kind of job. also there should be forensic officers that should travel together to this scenes but sadly we don’t have none only high school graduate police officers and some still high school dropouts.

  5. jane says:

    No matta who he was a drunkerd a bad prson, I think justice needs to done. We are we to disriminate yeah maybe he likes to give trouble , but he is not an animal and he has parents who are hurted too. so ser, you go ahead and do your thing..

  6. Remeber says:

    Barrow said DNA forensic lab in the FIRST 100 days of a UDP administration, then some months ago he again said move over CSI Miami, CSI BELIZE is here. Barrow and the UDP are good at talking, but nothing has been done in 4 years. they have general practioners doing autopsies in the districts, no protocol to investigate suspicious deaths. just because this person consumed alcohol in the past the police assumes he was intoxicated at the time of his death, it is pathetic to see these cases.

  7. raw truth says:

    When the recuits go for training they receive 6 months of training. but over 50% of these recuits DO NOT PASS THE exams. in other words they DO NOT QUALIFY to become police officers. Many of these police officers on the streets get even 20% overall in their training but they still end up passing out to become police officers. Even during training, properties of recruits are stolen by other recruits. Just imagine what they will do when they go out into the streets! This is one of the reasons why the police department looks incompetent many times due when it comes to efficiency in performing their duties.

  8. Elgin Martinez says:

    There is an urgent need for Forensic Pathologist in the Jewel.Until then this trend will continue.

  9. Charlie Price says:

    Anybody noticed that the well has no guard or protection around it, anyone could fall in there at night.

  10. Concerned Citizen says:

    I think this a fowl play and the police department are not doing their job! i suggest that they start to do their job and get down to business. Remember this can happen to your own family (police) what would you do, officer?

  11. reggie says:

    everyone is like the leader look after ourself.f

  12. Bzeman says:

    How does a person fall into a well and leave behind a cell phone and one foot of slippers. “One slipper makes it murder”…

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