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Oct 11, 2012

Cops leave decomposing body overnight in house

An area of Cairo Street, off Euphrates Avenue, was cordoned off this morning. The body of an elderly man was found on Wednesday but it was not removed by the authorities until this morning. The overpowering stench caused discomfort to the neighborhood; the police say they could not pin down the pathologist so the body was left exposed overnight and wasn’t removed until today. Duane Moody reports from the scene.


Duane Moody

“The lifeless body of seventy-three year old Luis Longsworth was found inside his shack here on Cairo Street. Due to the state of decomposition of the body, a post mortem was conducted this morning on the scene. The gruesome discovery was made by neighbors sometime around five Wednesday evening.”


Voice of: Neighbor

“It wasn’t until about Wednesday afternoon at around five and five-thirty that my mom realized that we hadn’t seen him around—that’s on Tuesday or the Wednesday. So she inquired about it and a neighbor went and checked and that’s what they found out that he had died.  The police came right away and they went in and found that he was dead and everything.”


Duane Moody

“But they didn’t do anything; they didn’t move the body or anything like that?”


Voice of: Neighbor

“Well actually what they said was that the body was in too much of an advance state of decomposition so they couldn’t take it to the morgue. But I was saying to myself, yet it’s not in too much of an advance state of decomposition for them to leave it around a residential area where people live closed by.”


The foul smell affected the neighborhood. According to one neighbor, it’s unsanitary so the authorities should have removed the body which was exposed to the inclement weather over the night.


Voice of: Neighbor

“All the neighbors were saying that it wasn’t right for them to leave the body there knowing that it was already decomposing. And the smell; you know, when the wind would blow in either direction, whoever lived in that direction would smell that foul smell.”


Duane Moody

“And you guys had to close up windows.”


Voice of: Neighbor

“We had to stay locked up; no fresh air for the whole time. They said that they would be here early the morning to remove the body and yet still after eight-thirty, they hadn’t come; nine o’clock they still hadn’t come. It was till after nine that they showed up to come and deal with this.”


Scenes of Crime officials arrived on the scene followed by pathologist, Doctor Mario Estradabran shortly after. And after an autopsy was done on the body, it was placed in a coffin and carted away.


For most of his life, Longsworth slept on this sponge inside the zinc and wooden structure in this unattended yard belonging to relatives. And while family member weren’t always around, the neighborhood would take care of him.


Voice of: Neighbor

“I always spoke with him and he was not crazy. As far as I would say he spoke normally and everything. He might have been loss to maybe the day or whatever it is because of his situation, but he knew basically everything. He would come early in the morning. Either one of the neighbors would offer him hot tea; something for breakfast. In the afternoon, he would come [and] another one would provide him with lunch. And at the evening, somebody would provide him with supper. During the day, like if I have pastries and stuff left over, I would always give it to him; so he had stuff.”


According to police press officer, Raphael Martinez, the delay in conducting postmortems is often times due to the unavailability of the pathologist. Duane Moody 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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2 Responses for “Cops leave decomposing body overnight in house”

  1. Al says:

    Wow, it is not often that I get an opportunity to agree with the action taken in Belize. This time I agree with what was done in this case. I know leaving the body in the place where the individual died and was decomposing was offensive to the environment, but forensics was necessary in order to determine if this was a natural death or a homicide, which is a criminal offence of murder. Good job!!!

  2. Bear says:

    Hopefully this poor man died of natural causes in his sleep. That may be the only good thing most of us Belizeans can hope to look forward to, a natural death instead of violent murder. when you look at how he was living, sleeping on a sponge and so, it’s obvious Belize was no Jewel for him. Maybe SSB should have helped people like him a little, instead of financing Dean Barrow’s infinite ego and Net Vasquez’s failed management at BEL.

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