The decomposing body of seventeen year old Erwin Rodriguez was found on Saturday afternoon, over one month after he disappeared. Rodriguez had been buried in a shallow grave in the Dyke Area in the Jane Usher Boulevard area. The teenager had been last seen on August 24th and his family began a search for him almost immediately. For days his mother Sylvia Rodriguez and a search team of family and volunteers combed the Dyke Area finding several pieces of his belongings including a slipper and his bicycle, and after over a month, his family finally has closure. Today his family and friends and those who assisted in the search laid him to rest at the Eternal Garden Memorial located at mile thirteen on the George Price Highway. There, we spoke with Jose Espat who led most of the search effort.
We had information coming from the get go but the information was sketchy because people were afraid to talk. We decided on Friday that since we had already three times searched the plantation area and then we found the bicycle near the culvert we decided to look at the other side near the sea. We searched all day on Friday near that sea and we dug out the canal to drain out the water and to see if any evidence would come up to the sand. We searched the entire area and actually we came over where Erwin was buried but due to a huge mangrove looking tree trunk over the shallow grave we could not see the discrepancy between the soil. I also found a body bag that was wrapped up with some blood on it and I knew it was around there and I believe that the breaking point of this case was the coverage by the media and also a little investigation by the CIB guys because due to the pressure they applied they got information, more specifically a picture of where the body was found and they called out Irwin’s mom and myself and we all went out there, this was Saturday at about 5:30 where the body was unearthed and a sad situation. From then I noticed he had a gunshot to the head, a big caliber. He was also tied up with his own cargo belts and he had on identifiable clothes that his mom identified. He had his phone in his pocket so there was no doubt to the mom that that was Erwin. To me I am just glad that the family got closure today.
Rodriguez’s mother, Sylvia Rodriguez told us that despite her pain, she is grateful that she was able to give her son a proper burial.
Sylvia Rodriguez – Mother
“First of all I want to thank the good lord for giving us the opportunity to find our son. We struggled for so many days looking for him but in the end I saw the grace of God because we finally found him. On Friday we went to search and we didn’t find anything but the Saturday the police came to my work and they said they found him so they came for me and I went with them. Yes he was there buried.”
“At least you found his body to give him a proper burial that happened could you tell us how you will remember your son?”
Sylvia Rodriguez – Mother
“As my happy boy. He was always smiling and teasing people, teasing his sisters. There was no one like him, he was always laughing. He made us happy. We will miss him so much but like I said we are thankful to the good lord that we found him and we can give him a proper burial and at this time I would like to thank everyone who supported us, my pastor and church members, Mr. Espat and also the police who gave us a hand. Everybody who was praying for us and all the media. God bless everyone.”
Rodriguez says that she does not know why her son was targeted. Police are investigating.