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Jun 5, 2006

Triple murder in Ontario may have roots in land grab

Story PictureIt appears to have no connection with a series of recent crimes against tourists in the Cayo District. But that’s about the only good thing that can be said about a gut-wrenching triple murder that was discovered on Saturday in the otherwise peaceful village of Ontario. News Five’s Jacqueline Godwin is just back from the scene.

Jacqueline Godwin, Reporting
The Charred remains of twenty six year old Fabian Oroman, twenty-two year old Lucilla Diaz?Hernandez and ten month old Alexander Oroman Diaz were found inside the family bedroom on top of a burned mattress.

Sgt. Sinquest Martinez, Head, C.I.B., Belmopan
?The scene was so brutal that I cannot imagine being murdered after being burnt so slowly. Especially the female, the mother quite disturbing; especially the innocent child they were all burnt up.?

Five months ago the young family moved into this two bedroom concrete house situated about one hundred yards off of the western highway. The family worked for the property owner Lincoln Casey. Casey says he last saw his tenants alive around six thirty Wednesday evening. It is strongly believed the family was murdered sometime later that night. Two days later the bodies were discovered after a relative went to the home and came upon the bloody scene. The blood trail, which begins at the front steps, tells police the killings started from outside of the residence. Head of Crimes Investigation Branch in Belmopan, Sergeant Sinquest Martinez, believes the killer or killers first attacked the father whom they believe was by an outside kitchen. Martinez says he believes the mother may have witnessed her child?s father being murdered.

Sgt. Sinquest Martinez
?It started from outside, then it went inside. The probability is that she might have seen what happened and who did it and probably that would have made for an easy investigation but they killed her; her throat was slit. The child throat was slit and then from there burnt. I cannot say at this moment if he was killed inside or outside. But I know from what the crime scene is saying that there was definitely a struggle outside because of the amount of blood that was seen outside.?

Fabian Oroman had chop wounds to his head and body. Equally disturbing is the way the family says the young mother and baby were killed. They claim that both the child?s and mother?s legs were also chopped off. The killer or killers, after setting the mattress on fire, soon extinguished the flames so as not to attract attention. Because the property is surrounded by tall trees and hills neighbours say they did not see or hear anything. Emma Ramirez does not know why anyone would want her nephew dead because he and his family did not trouble anyone and basically kept to themselves.

Emma Ramirez, Aunt of the Deceased
?He was an easy person. He didn?t disturb anybody. He didn?t have any enemy that I knew of and his wife was the same. She was an easy girl.?

The brutal slayings occurred one year after the former property owner seventy seven year old John Casey was also found murdered inside the house. That has led police to suspect that both incidents are connected. Martinez says Casey too was also attacked with a machete.

Sgt. Sinquest Martinez
?He was chopped, and these people were chopped. And we are looking at all angles. Right now we are trying to get the motive of both these crimes.

Emma Ramirez
?I got that belief too, because how come every person that come here are killed. And the same way they chop them up. So I do not know what to say.?

Lincoln Casey, Property Owner
?When I got the news I was so shock because I visited him on Wednesday, and his little brothers. We were laughing, talking, playing with the baby. I even mentioned to him that on Saturday that I will bring up the corn so he could plant the acre of land to the back and he said sure.?

On Sunday the remains of Lucilla Diaz?Hernandez and baby Alexander Oroman Diaz were transported to the mother?s home country Guatemala for burial.

Today, Fabian Oroman?s remains were laid to rest in Ontario Village.

Lincoln Casey
?It is very shocking. Because this look likes it?s worthy. I don?t know what really is going on. Only the good Lord can tell you.?

Property owner Lincoln Casey says he knows someone is trying to send a message to his family and believes his brother?s murder and the triple homicide were committed by a person or persons who want the land. Casey says the property is a prime piece of real estate because on the fourteen acres there also sits a Maya ruin that he says has not yet been excavated.

Lincoln Casey
?I think somebody else must want it. I can?t really give a clue on that right now. But I believe that the police will work very hard and I believe that someone will get charged for this murder and possibly the one a year ago.?

Sgt. Sinquest Martinez
?Yes, it has us very puzzled and I hope there is somebody out there that knows, who might of heard, that can assist us in this investigation. We are not happy at this moment. Both the villagers from Ontario and Black Eddy are not happy and I hope they can come forward.?

Meanwhile the Casey family says they will be meeting to decide what now will be done with the property. They are hoping that the police investigation will result in an arrest and conviction.

Jacqueline Godwin for News Five.

Lincoln Casey says he is also very concerned about the disappearance of one of his sons, Valentine Casey, whom they believe may have also been killed when he went missing in November of 2004. The family members say shortly after the incident they received a disturbing call in which the person informed them that their son was dead and his body buried. So far they have been unable to confirm the report.

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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