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Jan 30, 2013

Sudden Death: Canadian mortally injured in cell

Ralph Moody

An internal investigation has been launched by the police on the death of a Canadian national after spending a night in a holding cell in the San Ignacio Police Station. Reports are that when Jeffrey Furgala was picked up by police and taken to the station on Saturday night, he was intoxicated. He was placed inside a holding cell and the following morning, was found unconscious. The thirty-five year old was rushed to the San Ignacio Hospital in a coma and then to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where he succumbed to head injuries on Monday night. Furgala, who has been in Belize for the past two weeks, was invited by a friend to assist in building a house in the Calla Creek Area. The incident is raising alarm bells as there have been numerous cases where detainees have died while in police custody. But Officer Commanding the San Ignacio Police, Superintendent Ralph Moody, says that is not the case and that Furgala injured himself while in custody.


Via Phone: Supt. Ralph Moody, O.C., San Ignacio Police

“On arrival at that location, police tried to obtain information from this individual who appeared to be under the influence of alcohol. He was later placed in a holding cell and on Sunday at about seven a.m., police officers were conducting fatigue when they saw said male person lying down inside of the cell block. They called for him several times and he did not respond. Police went and made physical checks on him and it appeared that he was in a coma. He was picked up and escorted to the San Ignacio Hospital and was later transported to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital in Belize City. On Monday at about eleven-thirty p.m., Mister Furgala, who is a Canadian national, thirty-five years of age, succumbed to injuries that he received. Our investigation is revealing that while Mister Furgala was inside of the cell block, he fell and caused injury to his forehead. A postmortem exam will be done tomorrow at seven a.m.”


Duane Moody

“It has been reported of possible police brutality while persons are in the detention at stations and evidently leading to death of the person. Is this such a case?”


Via Phone: Supt. Ralph Moody

“Mister Moody, I will say that that is not the case. This individual was brought in. we were trying to be proactive; we were trying to save life and property and coincidentally this person caused injury to himself while in police custody. Police did not cause any injury to that individual.”


As to the injury caused to himself, Superintendent Moody, says that because of his state of intoxication, police believes Furgala fell and hit his head. His family arrived in the jewel on Tuesday and the post mortem is scheduled for seven a.m. on Thursday.

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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13 Responses for “Sudden Death: Canadian mortally injured in cell”

  1. belizebuay says:

    this is bs with them police… they are not doing there job good the Canadian people shud sue dem !@$$… Common sense if you take a drunk in jail you shud check up and him every five mins to see if he is ok… and some police officers like to treat the prisoners bad. and i think they shud really look into this.. if this man was somewhere else wen he died and not in police custody they wud want to charge the person who he was with…..

  2. REELY says:

    Dr Estradabran who is paid by the police dept. to determine cause of death, I hope the Canadians know this is no independent forensic coroner. NO. wanna bet what Estradabran will say cause his death. how about alcohol intoxication. SUIT THEM ALL.

  3. Al says:

    This death really need a thorough investigation. I am sure the forensic if done properly can show where this person sustained the blows to the head. It is so sad that police officers will take advantage of drunk individuals. I know people under the influence of alcohol can be hard to deal with, but the police job is to still protect and serve and provide a safe environment for people they take into custody. I hope this family get justice.

  4. jimmy says:

    my best guess is that Mister Furgala had the temerity to talk back to the Police and they clobbered him ultimately causing his death. Dead men tell no tales and so we shall never know the truth.

  5. Storm says:

    The symptoms of serious head injury can look a lot like drunkenness to an untrained person. Anyone who cannot take care of himself should be looked at by a nurse, or at least a person trained to differentiate between alcohol and head injury.

    A test of the poor man’s blood should be made to see if there was alcohol or any drug in it.

    The police need to have FREQUENT checks of all prisoners. This poor man apparently lay unattended for about 6 hours, even with a head injury caused by a fall, there was a good chance to save his life with MINIMAL care on the part of police. I heard another report that police claim they heard “the sound of a fall” but nobody went to check on what ws happening. That was serious neglect of duty — what was more important for the officers on duty, to sit on their chairs and eat or sleep?

    Human life is precious. We all complain righteously when criminals take it by murder. We should care just as much if people we are paying to protect us all let it be squandered by laziness and neglect. INVESTIGATE.

    Why not put continuous video recorders in the cells?

  6. Bear says:

    Dr. Estradabran’s official autopsy report: “cause of death is undetermined due to advanced state of decomposition.”

    He has a rubber stamp that says that to save himself effort.

  7. Rod says:

    I keep telling you all dr estradaban is not a pathologist he never was and never will be he is too dunce like the rest of the udp crowd they pay this man for nothing actually he should be put in jail for falsehood ,if anyone can show me his diploma in pathology ill eat my shoes.

  8. Seletar says:

    Qualified medical examination should be able to determine whether the victim fell and struck his head on the floor [contrecoup injury] or whether he was clubbed [coup injury]. I saw some interesting coroner’s testimony about that years ago, and it stuck in my mind.

    Here’s a link to a wikipedia article that explains a little:

  9. vivamcafeee says:

    Seems tha McAfee was right all along , Sorry for the honest belizians, but belize seems like a pool of rats, and murder, as im writting this a major campaign against belize is taking place in Canada , all Canadian tavel agencies are being advised to boycot the most dangerous and corrupt country in the world.

    Dean is nothing but a low life gangsta (not even a corrupt politian)

  10. fleecing of Belize says:

    @Bear, you are so right but he still collects 800 dollars for each post mortem. this is why police keep him on and renew his contract, because he covers for them.

  11. JLE says:

    I have been to San Ignacio and thought it was a great little spot to visit. I felt very safe there and enjoyed the tours that are offered there very much. Jeff was my friend. I find it very hard to believe he hit his head causing a fatal injury while intoxicated. I hope there is an investigation and we get to the bottom of this. Another child has lost her father and all that is left is a question mark while family and friends grieve.

  12. Eye in the Sky says:

    That is the reason McAfee ran and hid.

  13. Me2 says:

    I was just at the ER in a hospital in Calgary, Canada, and a family who was friends with this guy got up and ran to the tv when this story came on the news, with a pic of the guy. They were clearly very upset about it, so I talked to them a bit and they said they knew the guy very well, he wasn’t a big drinker and never mean when he was drunk. They were going on and on how bad Belize is and these missionaries they knew about were killed there and left in a ditch. This is a big news story across Canada right now, Belize government will get lots of heat for this one yet. Who keeps voting for that @##clown of a PM anyway?!

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