Tonight, a minor has been charged for fatally shooting a woman during a robbery over the weekend in rural Belize. The victim, 35-year-old Vanessa Acevedo, was murdered at her business in Ladyville Village. Acevedo, a mother of one, had been operating the business for the last two months and her family says it was her dream come through. Reporter Vejea Alvarez tells us more.
Vejea Alvarez, Love FM News: In the wee hours of Saturday morning, 35-year-old Vanessa Acevedo had her dream turned into a nightmare with a single gunshot. Around 12:30, the mother of one was closing up her business, the Cocktail Bar, on Perez Road in Ladyville Village when she was pounced upon by a lone robber. The armed thief demanded money but before Acevedo could have handed over her purse, he fired off a single deadly shot. The businesswoman was rushed to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital but pronounced dead on arrival. ASP, Alfonso Aban, head of the Criminal Investigations Branch, says a minor, who was placed at the scene by an eye witness, has been charged for murder and the Acevedo’s purse has been recovered.
ASP, Alfonso Aban, Head of Criminal Investigations Branch: “They recovered the bag afterwards on that street where the accused is suspected to have run to after the incident.”
Vejea Alvarez, Love FM News: According to police, the motive behind Acevedo’s murder was robbery but her aunt, Maria, says the family believes it was an orchestrated hit.
Maria Acevedo, Aunt of Deceased: “Someone sent that boy to do that because from what I know, he asked for the purse to get close to her to not miss her heart.”
Vejea Alvarez, Love FM News: So you think it was a hit?
Maria Acevedo, Aunt of Deceased: “Yes. That’s what I believe. Not only me. The rest of the family things that because the purse didn’t even have money, mostly change, her make-up, her social. That’s it so they killed her for nothing. ”
Vejea Alvarez, Love FM News: Tatiana, Acevedo’s cousin, described her as a loving woman who worked tirelessly to achieve her dream of owning her own business.
Tatiana Acevedo, Cousin of Deceased: “Yes it was her dream to have her own business and she had just recently opened up the spot there, the little cocktail bar here in Ladyville and you know, as she opened the place, you know.”
Vejea Alvarez, Love FM News: How long ago did she open the bar?
Tatiana Acevedo, Cousin of Deceased: “About like two months and she was working hard to promote it. She was doing like karaoke and stuff so that people would come. She spoke about it a lot. She was always telling us, tell your friends to come, tell my uncle to tell his friends. She always, every weekend because most people don’t work for weekends, she would be like come for karaoke night.”
Vejea Alvarez, Love FM News: Acevedo’s entire family is devastated by her loss but they say the real victim was her daughter who will now have to carry on without the woman she called her best friend.
Tatiana Acevedo, Cousin of Deceased: “Her daughter is really devastated. I think she doesn’t even want to eat. That was her best friend, the only person she had to be with her like that. They always did everything together. They did Tik Toks together. That was the kind of relationship that they had.”
Vejea Alvarez, Love FM News: According to police, another suspect is being sought in the relation to Acevedo’s murder. Her family is now appealing to the minor that has been charged to cooperate with the police so they can receive the closure they need.
Tatiana Acevedo, Cousin of Deceased: “I just want him to know that he has ripped away a big part of all of us, especially her mother, my aunt. Everybody is really devastated with the news and everything and I just want that person to speak up and say the truth because I understand also that it was not only one person that was there. He needs to speak up and say the truth, if they sent him or what happened with that.”
Vejea Alvarez, Love FM News: Vejea Alvarez, Love News.