This morning in Belize City, a man was found dead in his home - he had been stabbed to death. The victim is 35 year old Rudy Cruz, very well known in the entertainment world as Belize's premier light technician.
But last night - police believe he was killed in his sleep by someone who did not break into his home.
It is a murder that has all the indicators of a crime of passion - and today Monica Bodden tried to find out what led to his death:..
Monica Bodden reporting
Family members, neighbors and friends gathered outside this house on Allan Pitts Crescent - the home of 35 year old Rudy Cruz - his body lay dead inside his bedroom - where he was attacked and viciously stabbed over a dozen times.
Cruz was last seen alive last night at the Princess Casino. Around 6:30 this morning his lifeless body was discovered on his bed inside his home by a friend who went looking for him after he didn't show up to an early morning job.
According to family members, Cruz may have been stabbed to death while he was asleep because they were no signs of a struggle nor were there any signs of forced entry - which cause one to believe that Cruz murderer may have been someone familiar to him.
Nothing was found stolen from inside his house - except for a bunch of missing keys.
It was an emotional atmosphere early this morning as family members held on to each other and tried to console one another the best they could.
After police crime investigation team processed the crime area - Cruz's body was taken out from his home.
Wrapped in a sheet, he was placed on a stretcher and escorted through the crowd - where he was put behind the pan of a police pickup truck and taken away to the morgue.
Aracelli Cruz - Sister of the Deceased
"My little brother called me sometime between 6 and 7 o'clock. I don't know; I didn't look at the clock. He called and told me that someone stabbed up my brother, but I didn't think that he was dead. So, I just called back to find out if he was at home, or if he was at the hospital. He told me that they can't move him, so I hurried over here. I really didn't think that he was dead in his bed."
Cruz lived alone at his residence. For his friends and family, he was an easy going guy. He worked alongside the National Institute of Culture and history on numerous occasions and later invested in his own business. He is described by many as one of the best light design and technician in the country.
Seen on the night stand beside his bed where he was murdered- are pictures of him and his fiancé. We were told his wedding date was set in December.
"My brother, the only think I can say about my brother is love. Love for his family; nobody gets between him and his family. It doesn't matter how - like any other family - we might have our problems, Rudy is not the type to hold anything against anyone. Rudy just leave things as they are, and he just lives like whatever will be, will be, but family is family. That is one thing. His friends, it's the same thing; he treats them like family. Rudy is the type of persons that if you need something, and you go to Rudy and ask him 'Rudy, I need a $100, he would give it to you without even thinking about it. If he lends you, he is not the type to come back and remind you that you owe him. Rudy is the type that believes that whenever he lends, he doesn't ask back for it. If he gets it, fine, and if he doesn't get it, that's it. That's Rudy. In his job, he is very punctual, and very serious, and his love for his family."
And Cruz's family is another added to the long list of those waiting for justice - in a society where justice seldom prevails.
"Everybody wants justice, everybody, but I'll leave to their conscience and to the hands of God. That's all I can say. And to that person, I hope he or she knows exactly what they did."
Police have no suspects at this time.
Cruz started out his career at the Arts Council where he was trained by a Peace Corp Volunteer and since then he came into his own as a private entrepreneur.
Rudy Cruz murdered in his home
A well known light and audio technician and DJ was found dead in his bed before seven o’clock this morning. Rudy Cruz, a former employee of the then Belize Arts Council was stabbed multiple times. There are no signs of forced entry at his house and the family believes that his murder was not motivated by robbery. He lived alone and was within months of getting married. News Five’s Jose Sanchez reports on the latest murder in the Old Capital.
Jose Sanchez, Reporting
The bloodstained mattress is where the body of Rudy Cruz was found inside his home. Next to the bed is a picture of Cruz and his fiancé who were to marry in a few months. Naturally, his family is shocked as the businessman did not keep bad company.
“Are there any indications who may have disliked him to that extent cause he’s known as to be a nice guy?”
Araceli Acosta, Sister of Rudy Cruz.
“No, no. Everybody weh know Rudy, weh know the type of person Rudy is: [he’s] loving, caring and love number one for his family and as far as I am concerned, he had no enemies. So it’s a shock for we.”
“Is there anything that he may have had that someone else may have wanted to kill him for?”
“Well not that we know of because everything is still in his house. The only thing weh missing dah wah bunch of keys that contain the keys for his vehicle and house keys and one ATM card, his business ATM card.”
“That will be useless unless they know the pin number.”
“Well yeah. Well I done called and put an injunction to all his accounts at the different banks that he had. And that was the only thing that’s missing because everything was intact. He had a gold chain around his neck and the police gave me that in my hand.”
“So this wasn’t a robbery?”
“It doesn’t seem like a robbery. Probably they tried to make it look like a robbery because some of the few and money missing from out ah ih wallet and the last place that with friends that they saw him spoke with him last night; he was at the princess. So definitely he had money with him, but none of that was in his pockets or around the house. So they tried to make it look like a robbery; we suspect nuh.”
Inspector Fitzroy Yearwood, Police Press Officer
“Rudy Noel Cruz, a thirty-five year old DJ; he lives at number 21 Allan Pitts Crescent. Friends of his visited the house this morning sometime around 6:45 where he found Mr. Cruz with multiple stab wounds in his bed—mostly to the abdomen. When investigators visited the scene Mr. Cruz was transported to the K.H.M.H. where he was pronounced dead.”
“Any possible motives?”
Insp. Fitzroy Yearwood
“Not as yet. We are questioning some people at this time about it and hope to get to get a motive soon. This investigation just started this morning, so I’m giving the investigators time to put together their interview report and info. By the end of the day, I can send out an official release on what their findings are, noh.”
There were no signs of forced entry to the house and his eldest sister believes he was killed by someone he knew.
“He was probably killed by a person he knew. They said that it doesn’t look like he had defensive wounds so it is somebody that he knew. He was stabbed in his bed multiple times and he was partially nude; only in his boxer shorts. So sometime around three this morning because of the way how the body deh; it could be about after three—sometime around that time that police claim that he was stabbed to death.”
“They’re assuming that he was sleeping?”
“Yes. That’s what they said that he was sleeping. The way how they found him, they said that he was sleeping and there is no forced entry so, they suspect probably he knew [the persons], [the person] came with him or somebody had a key to the house because no force entry is visible nowhere around the house.”
The violence on the streets is no longer limited to gang related activity. Cruz, a productive citizen who contributed to the arts, was lost. Reporting for News Five, Jose Sanchez.
The National Institute of Culture and history earlier today expressed sadness at the loss of, “The highly skilled and brilliant personality.” According to NICH, he was trained by a Peace Corp Volunteer assigned to the Arts Council many years ago, and since then has worked tirelessly to polish his skills to near excellence.