The family of Rafael Garrido is clamoring for justice, but justice may not come as they are pointing fingers at the Police for the murder. We rejoin Vejea Alvarez for the story.
Vejea Alvarez, Love News: Raphael Garrido after having been reported missing almost two weeks ago and after police found his body just off the Hummingbird Highway just yesterday his family is asking the public to help bring closure. Garrido resided in Ladyville but was last seen alive at an area near mile 31 on the Philip Goldson Highway. Reportedly that last sighting of him was when he was returning from Orange Walk on a personal errand. Garrido’s mother, Adrianna, took her plea to Facebook via Jose Uc’s page.
Adrianna Garrido, Mother: “My son and his friend went to Orange Walk to meet some other people. When they were in Orange Walk a red vehicle was following them. They stayed in Orange Walk for two hours because they went to pick up weed and I won’t tell anyone any lie. When they were coming back on the road after that two hours when they reached almost Crooked Tree junction the lane before the tower they realized that they were being followed again by the same vehicle and eventually the young man that was driving stopped at that location where he left my son who went into the bushes with the bag of weed. Later on the young man went down the street about probably a half mile or something like that he waited there for half an hour so that he could see down the street if anybody was coming or going. After that half an hour he went back to the area and as soon as his vehicle parked at that area where he left my son the police vehicle approached, the same red car approached him. Police came out of this red car. Police — because he was recognized along with Police _____ and different police officers were there. That was the information I got for the last about my son.”
Vejea Alvarez, Love News: This is the narrative that the mother has pieced together after doing her own investigation. According to the mother they realized that her son was unaccounted for on February 4th. She went to authorities and her family formed search parties. Now that Garrido has been found and awaits a proper burial Adrianna wants closure regardless of what her son had done when he was alive.
Adrianna Garrido, Mother: “Anybody out there knows where my son is please come forward. This is between the police and my son this is not about any stranger or someone off the street. Even if another drug man paid them they’re aware and this is about the law, they are responsible for my son and I need justice. I need closure for my granddaughter. She is waiting for her father. Somebody, whoever is out there please assist. If my son had hurt people or was doing different things in life – he is working whatever he has a little shop and he sells weed I’m not ashamed to let anybody know because many days that same weed money put food on my table.”
Vejea Alvarez, Love News: Garrido’s body was found fully clothed by hunters in an area near mile 54 on the Hummingbird Highway but how exactly did Garrido get from the Philip Goldson Highway to a shallow grave on the Hummingbird this is one of the questions posed to the head of the Police’s Crimes Investigation Branch Alejandro Cowo.
Supt. Alejandro Cowo, Head of National Crimes Investigation Branch, Belize City: “That is something that we are trying to establish from the very first day that a report was made. The person that accompanied him to Orange Walk he was in police custody and he was questioned and he was later released due to the information that he had provided to us but since then police has conducted searches along with the family on the Philip Goldson Highway but it did not yield anything until yesterday that some persons that were hunting found the body there by the Hummingbird Highway.”
Vejea Alvarez, Love News: Our Cayo Correspondent Fem Cruz spoke with Garrido’s cousin Israel Gilharry who also appealed for the public’s help.
Israel Gilharry, Cousin: “It’s very heartbreaking to see families in distress and how many people will go missing with no trace. So if we the public don’t speak up and say what we see we will have many more cases like this.
Vejea Alvarez, Love News: Raphael Garrido leaves behind his common law wife and a child. He was originally from the Corozal district but had relocated to Ladyville.