Family Desperate for Answers as Wilton Chaneb Missing for 10 Days

Family Desperate for Answers as Wilton Chaneb Missing for 10 Days

A man from Sandhill Village, Belize District, has been missing for ten days.  54-year-old, Wilton Chaneb was working on Bannister Island, also known as Starfish Island, since December last year.  Recently, when his daughter did not get responses to her messages, concerns mounted and the family began making phone calls.  Up to news time tonight, the family has been able to find out that Chaneb had gone with colleagues to Brown’s Caye to socialize on Saturday, May 18, but he never made it back to his work site.  According to his daughter, Darcy, the Police have not given the family an update on the investigation and the Belize Coast Guard has since concluded its search and rescue operations.  Despite diminishing hope, Darcy told Love News that they are still praying for answers and closure.

Darcy Chaneb, Daughter: “We message very often. We communicate via WhatsApp but seeing him in person it would be one time for the month. But the last time I actually saw him was for his birthday on the 18th of March. The reality of it, because it’s already 10 days and we haven’t heard anything. They did searches. They haven’t found anything. We do believe that he has passed away. We were trying to have hope that he is still alive, but it is 10 days now. We haven’t heard anything. They haven’t found anything besides the kayak. It’s not like they found his hat. I know he’s always wearing a hat. They haven’t found anything. So we do believe that he has passed away. And we as the family. We would just like closure or any information that any, any information anyone has if they can kindly get in contact with us and let us know. We’re hoping that he’s still alive but the reality of it with everything happening out at sea, we don’t know.”

Love News further understands that Police are yet to interview or get a statement from the man who last saw Chaneb alive; that man is a security guard for a nearby island.  While investigators have reportedly not interviewed that security guard, the island manager, Derrick Hemmans, did speak to him, and says that Chaneb was left to his own devices when the kayak he was in, capsized.  

Derrick Hemmans, Island Manager: “Wilton left the island on kayak in route to Wally Brown’s Caye or some people would call it Browns Ski, which is like by kayak it takes maybe about 15 minutes, maybe 20 minutes depending on sea condition, no? So Wilton got on the kayak and he left with another young man by the name of _________ and they were heading to Brown’s Caye. They made it to Brown’s Caye, met up with the security guard there, or the watchman, and they had a couple drinks before they left my island according to the watchman that was on the island he told me that they left with Stout and Badman. They consumed the alcohol over on Brown’s Caye and roughly around seven thirty, eight o’clock they started to head back to my island to start fish. On the way back, heavy winds, the winds picked up, the seas got rough, the kayak overturned. He tried to swim to the kayak but because of the wind it pushed the kayak away from him. So save himself he swam toward the mangrove close by and he walked towards his camp. When his kayak overturned Wilton was far away and he couldn’t get to Wilton so he swam to the edge of the mangrove walked on the edge and went to his camp thinking that Wilton made it back to Starfish Island.”

According to Melissa Jones, Operations Officer of the Belize Coast Guard, their searches included several areas including coastal and inland waters.  The search efforts from the Belize Coast Guard has since concluded

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