Teenager Stabbed Multiple Times and Dumped in a Ditch

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Updated: June 29, 2016

Neighbours, relatives and police investigators are tonight trying to put the pieces together as to how a seventeen year old girl ended up in a ditch in the Mahogany Heights residential community bearing over ten stab wounds.  Love News was alerted minutes after the body was found and upon reaching the scene we found police officers canvassing the scene.  Inspector Rochelle Chan heads the Hattieville Police Station; he spoke with us and gave us the preliminary findings.

ROCHELLE CHAN

“What occurred this morning is that the police were alerted by a concerned citizen that they saw what appeared to be a human body. He responded to the scene in Mahogany Heights where he discovered a female half dressed and apparently with multiple stab wounds. The female has not been identified, what we can say is that yes the subject in question has had multiple stab wounds all over her body. We are presently processing the scene, I cannot speculate as to what has transpired or occurred however more information will be forwarded to you guys. Indications may be that the body might have been brought to the scene here. It appeared that it might have happened during the night to this morning.”

The young girl has since been identified as 17-year-old, Jasmine Petillo.  Jasmine was a resident of the area and was an avid participant in the Mahogany Heights Marching Band.  Love News spoke with Edna Mae Garbutt who heads the marching band.  She told us about Jasmine, her passion and bold personality.

EDNA MAE GARBUTT

“I saw her the day before yesterday but yesterday my daughter said she was here.”

RENEE TRUJILLO

“That would be for practice ?”

EDNA MAE GARBUTT

“Well not really band practice, the band will have five years the 13th of July so I’ve called them to speak to them for us t have a family time with their parents. She was an outspoken person, whatever she wanted to do she would get it done. She will do what she wants do and she’ll do it right. She was a sweet person at least to me and everybody in the band. Jasmin from when she was small if you and her were friends and you get in a problem she would be with you.”

Garbutt says Petillo never told her of any recent or immediate threats she was facing but Love News found out that there was a shooting at the victim’s home some months ago.

EDNA MAE GARBUTT

“I always spoke to her. She would come and tell me things and I would give her advice and right now she was preparing to go to Stann Creek with her father that is what she told me after the show so I don’t know what the problem is.”

RENEE TRUJILLO

“What was she going to do in Stann Creek?”

EDNA MAE GARBUTT

“She was going to live there. She said Ms.Edna  after the show I’m going home to my father in Stann Creek and that was it.”

RENEE TRUJILLO

“Did she tell you of any threats or anything that she was getting?”

EDNA MAE GARBUTT

“Only a month or two ago they said that they came to shoot up the house back there ,that was it and I told her that she had to be careful. She said that she didn’t do anything but I told her that she doesn’t know what they are after and told her to go. She told me that she would go after my show. She didn’t tell me anything.”

Garbutt says she is discouraged following this incident and is thinking of breaking up the Mahogany Heights Marching Band.

EDNA MAE GARBUTT

“I don’t think I want anything else to do with bands after this, I think I’m done with it because it hurts. She was the head. Bandfest she went and we tore that up so I think this is it for me I don’t know. I’m trying but I can’t go anymore.”

RENEE TRUJILLO

“When you said she was the head what does that mean?”

EDNA MAE GARBUTT

“She was the head leader for dancing, she was the assistant to coordinate. Anything you put her in she was good at, anything. Right now she came and she said she had a poem written for me, and  she said she’d make me cry, I told her no one could make me cry.”

RENEE TRUJILLO

“Did she share that poem?”

EDNA MAE GARBUTT

“No she told me that she would share it with me on the night of the show in July and that was it.”

RENEE TRUJILLO

“So that was the last conversation you had with her?”

EDNA MAE GARBUTT

“When she came and sat down and practiced their dancing in here and then she sang a song and then she told me about the poem and then that was that I told them to go home because it was late. I didn’t see her yesterday, I heard them in the house yesterday but I didn’t peep to see them. I didn’t know this was coming. It’s hard though. I wish they find who did it, this is rough.”

Upon our leaving the area, Jasmine’s mother, who is a Special Constable with the Belize Police Department arrived.  When we spoke with the residents in the immediate area where the body was found, they said all they heard were the dogs barking but they were oblivious to what was happening.  Other residents complained of the inefficiency of the officers at the sub-station saying that they do not engage in patrols of the back streets.