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Jan 6, 2014

Body of Canadian Missionary brought back to Belize and cremated

Brian Townsend

Around one p.m. on Thursday, the body of sixty-four year old Brian Townsend, a former missionary living in Valley of Peace was exhumed in Flores, Peten. Townsend’s body was found floating in the river near Arenal in Guatemala on the twenty-seventh of December after he had gone missing on Christmas Eve. But it was not until December thirtieth that the local police were informed by their Guatemalan counterparts that a body had been retrieved from the river and due to the state of decomposition, had been buried. Late last week, Townsend’s son, Kory, and a search team from Belize headed over the western border to retrieve the body. This morning, Pastor Gelder Gamboa of the Seventh Day Adventist Church came to our studios providing an update to the tragic death of the Canadian missionary who was well known and liked in the Valley of Peace area.


Pastor Gelder Gamboa, 7th Day Adventist Church

“We went over to Melchor. To make it possible, the Canadian Consul and also Belize and Guatemala Consul worked together and they were able to tell us that there was a body that was retrieved from Arenal close to Melchor border, the river. So we went ahead to San Benito and there we were able to identify Brother Brian’s body and that same day we brought it back to Belize and cremate the body. And so the remains are still here in Belize. So we are planning to have a funeral service at Valley of Peace this Sunday and then the remains will be sent to Canada for funeral service on the nineteenth of January. This took place on Thursday afternoon, one o’clock; this is the time we went across to the border. So we were able to get the body in here ten-thirty in the night.”


Duane Moody

Gelder Gamboa

“I understand it was taken to Hattieville.”


Pastor Gelder Gamboa

“Yes, we took it directly to Hattieville. Coye’s Funeral Home took over there and cremated the body.”


Duane Moody

“What is brain’s son saying with regards to what has happened and the unfortunate passing of his father?”


Pastor Gelder Gamboa

“Certainly, the family is brokenhearted, but nevertheless they are holding up together. So step-by-step, day-by-day, they are trying to get a closure of this matter.”


Townsend’s pickup truck is still missing and believed to have been across the border and into Guatemala. The murder of the Canadian national has been closely followed by the media in his country. 

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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4 Responses for “Body of Canadian Missionary brought back to Belize and cremated”

  1. Proud Belizean says:

    So sad.

  2. Lyn says:

    Why has no description of his stolen truck ever been made public? I would also like to bet that his killers are back in Belize.

  3. M. Green says:

    If Immigration has done their job and villagers cooperate . . . a simple head count should point to a reliable person of interest. But that just an idea!

  4. Lynda says:

    Please let us know if the killers are found, also his truck. This is so sad for all of us.

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