The nation’s latest home invasion and murder occurred in the Maya Mopan area, a remote part of Belmopan, between one-twenty and one-forty this morning and claimed the life of fifty-three year old Robert Lewis, a retired Belizean who had spent twenty years along with his wife, Orsula Patnett Lewis in Los Angeles before returning home three years ago to live.
They built their house together and installed all that could be deemed safe within which to live comfortably – reinforced burglar bars, four surveillance cameras and guard dogs.
However in the wee hours of Monday, something went awfully wrong at the Lewis residence when Mrs Lewis was accosted in the master bedroom on the upper flat by a masked man dress in full black and wearing sanitary gloves.
He ordered her to lie on the floor and he proceeded to tie her hands and feet and threatened to harm her, then asked where was the gun and the money. She pleaded for her life and the man then left her and went downstairs where shortly after he heard her husband screaming for help. She hollered out to him that she couldn’t reach him because she was tied up.
Before calling the neighbour, Orsula Lewis made a life-and-death decision and jumped from the balcony of her bedroom on the upper flat to the ground below, fracturing her shoulder. Oddly enough, he reportedly jumped from the second floor too when he discovered that Mrs Lewis had locked the exit doors. The neighbour that the badly injured woman called was this man, Mateo Choc, who said that by the time he responded, the assailant had already left, in the direction towards the exit road.
Mateo Choc, Next door neighbour
“My daughter heard a scream and she woke me up and I went to see what di happen. When I reach over deh I see the lady already di sit in the yard, crying. I couldn’t do nothing to help her because the man who hurt them had already gone. I felt sorry for her because she is my neighbour they are good people. I didn’t see that the man was dead because I never gone in the house. I fraid now because this could happen to me as well because back here noh have light. I saw them just yesterday. They are good people.”
Orsula’s sister, Martha Patnett, told reporters that she had seen the couple on Sunday when she went to visit with them at their home. The family is left dumbstruck as to how the attacker, who reportedly had a Mayan accent, managed to enter the building.
When police arrived at the scene at around two-thirty, they discovered Robert Lewis already dead in the theater room on the lower flat of the house.
His throat had been slashed and he had been stabbed multiple times in the neck. While the couple had a wide assortment of expensive jewelry still at the house, their attacker took with him 275 dollars.
He also left behind bloodstains which police believe were his when he injured his hand on the knife blade and on this fence when he jumped to escape.
The stately house, which is the only structure of that magnitude and value in the entire area, was built by the couple, according to the sister, Martha Patnett, after years of toiling and saving in the United States.
Martha Patnett said that the couple chose Belmopan over Belize City to retire because of the rise in crime in the old capital. But little did they know that crime would seek them out in the middle of the night at the place they felt safe in, where they called home.
Belmopan police are following one possible lead and are investigating a former employee who worked with Robert Lewis in the construction field, with whom he had had a dispute three months ago. Police have two theories: either the attacker had a key to the main entrance of the house, or he waited for Robert Lewis to go outside to feed his dogs before pouncing on him.
Before leaving Belize to live in the US 20 years ago, Robert Lewis worked as a taxi driver at the Cinderella Taxi Stand in Belize City.<< Read other news