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#465047 - 05/23/13 07:18 AM Baptist Family Fears Loved One Was Murdered
Marty Offline
The Belize City family of San Pedro Resident Jerome Baptist is fearing for the worst tonight – they believe he was killed on the island on Sunday night. Since Monday, San Pedro police have been looking for his body on northern Ambergris Caye but they haven’t come up with anything. Gunshots were heard on Sunday night in the San Juan area of the island and there are reports that some men were seen dragging a body into a boat. Baptist has not been seen since then – but police and his family are following up on various leads. A number of persons have been detained, questioned and released.

Channel 7

#465118 - 05/24/13 06:26 AM Re: Baptist Family Fears Loved One Was Murdered [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Lucio Salazar charged for alleged murder of Jeremy Baptist

Baptist’s body still missing

Police on Ambergris Caye charged one man for murder on May 23, 2013. He is 23 year old Lucio Salazar, a fisherman of a San Juan Area address in San Pedro Town. The charges arose from an investigation that was launched following several reports gathered by police that 25 year old Jeremy Baptist was shot and his body disposed of. It’s a strange case and one of the few such case seen in Belize in which police has brought murder charges against someone without having a body.

Jeremy Baptist

Lucio Salazar

According to Superintendent of Police Luis Castellaños, sometime on Monday May 20th, they received a missing person report and following an investigation, they received several reports that Baptist was in fact murdered and not missing. Castallaños explained that investigation so far suggest that Baptist was at a function at the residence of 49 year old Peter Moses Campos in the San Juan area of San Pedro Town when he was apparently shot, killed and his body transported in a boat. Police say the body has not been found.

In an interview with the media, Baptist’s common law wife Denisha Valerio explained that the two were at the Campos residence where they had been invited to a christening reception earlier the night. “We both went to the christening together at about 8:30 on Sunday night (May19th). He didn’t want to go because he said he was not feeling good but we made up our mind and bought a gift and ended up going to the party. At about 10:30 that night he indicated that he was not ready to go home but he ended bring me and my baby home. He kissed the baby and said he would be back by midnight,” said Valerio. Little did she know that it was the last time she would have seen Baptist alive. Valerio said that it was not until the following day she learnt, from rumors on the street, that her common law husband was killed.

Superintendent Castellanos said that based on information gathered they began an investigation. “An investigation was conducted and revealed that sometime around 1:15am on Monday May 20th, Jeremy Baptist got into an altercation at the Campos residence with a group of males. During the altercation, he was reportedly shot multiple times and was taken up the lagoon in a boat and was disposed of by the group of male persons. However, several checks were made up the river and on the coast on Ambergris Caye and the body has not yet been found,” indicated police.

During the investigation, police detained and questioned a number of people. In addition, police gathered several reports from “witnesses” who were at the function and saw the incident unfold. Evidence gathered so far indicates that Baptist was reportedly shot four times, of which there was to his head. Police also recovered a boat, namely Tani, belonging to the Salazar, with substance appearing to be blood on the vessel. Neither expended shells nor a gun have been recovered. But all that is just circumstantial evidence as the body has not been found despite days of search operations. When asked by the media to explain why murder charges have been placed on Salazar, Superintendent Castellaños indicated that the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution found enough evidence to charge the accused. “We got several reports including that of the complainant. We received information from several witnesses that he was shot and murdered. We also received information that he was taken in a boat by the accused and others after he was apparently killed. We have a vessel, belonging to the accused with what appears to be blood and we got further directives from the DPP on how to proceed,” explained Castellaños. While Lucio has been formally charged for murder, police indicated that “others may be charged,” as the investigation continues.

Click here to read the rest of the article and see more photos in in the San Pedro Sun

#465119 - 05/24/13 06:30 AM Re: Baptist Family Fears Loved One Was Murdered [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Man charged For Jeremy Baptist Murder – Body Still Not Found

Last night we told you about the worrying disappearance of Jeremy Baptist. Well, tonight, he is presumed dead and police have charged a man for his murder – even though his body hasn’t been found. We’ll tell you about that shortly, but first with the assistance of the San Pedro Sun, Daniel Ortiz has the story from San Pedro.

Daniel Ortiz reporting
Tonight, Police continue to look for clues which could lead them to find the body of 25 year-old Jeremy Baptist, the San Pedro resident who went missing on Sunday. But for San Pedro Police, this they are not optimistic that they will find him alive. Baptist was last seen at a party in the San Juan area with his common-law wife and baby. He dropped them home at around 10:30 p.m., went back to the party , and later that night, police had to respond to a shooting report.

Voice of Supt. Luis Castellanos - OC, San Pedro Police
"Police responded but they didn't find anything at the time and there after information started to come in that someone had been shot and as a result we started to investigate. We have not recovered the body of Baptist but the information is more suggesting that there is a possible murder."

With the fact of the missing person’s report from Baptist’s common-law wife, and strong eyewitness reports, police believe that he was killed in that shooting, and then taken away by his assailants to be disposed of.

Voice of Supt. Luis Castellanos
"We have impounded a boat and where we believe may be traces of blood but we're getting forensic experts to guide us in their technical field. We have a person in custody."

Daniel Ortiz
"What leads you to believe that this gentleman can assist, sir?"

Voice of Supt. Luis Castellanos
"Well we're getting information and statements that is suggesting that he is somewhat involved."

Daniel Ortiz
"In what fashion?"

Voice of Supt. Luis Castellanos
"The information we're gathering is that there was an altercation between himself and Jeremy and as a result Jeremy was shot. He was placed in the boat that we have here presently in detention and he's body was pulled up."

According to the family, whatever the people saw him as, he didn't deserve such an end, especially because he wasn't troubling any one at that party.

Voice of Denisha Vallerio - Common-Law Wife of Deceased
"When I am around as bad as Jeremy Baptist may be everyone knows he behaves as long as I am around. He wasn't hanging with his friends that he usually hangs with, he wasn't with anybody. He was someone that nobody would have been able to take advantage of. Nobody can tell me that only one man did that, it was more - they 'chanced' him out of his life. He used to always tell me 'D when they kill me they will have to 'chance' me, I won't go down like that'. And that is what they did to him, I will leave everything in God's hands and He will deal with them."

And they will not be able to get any closure unless the body is recovered.

Voice of Denisha Vallerio
"That is the only thing that hurts us, we want the body so that we can give him a proper burial. At least I want to see that this is what happened to him so that all of us can get over it and accept the fact."

23 year old fisherman and San Mateo resident Lucio Salazar, has been arrested and charged with murder on the DPP’s directive. So how can they do that without finding a body? Well, precedent cases state that, quote, “The fact of death is provable by circumstantial evidence, notwithstanding that neither the body nor any trace of the body has been found".

Here’s what police have in terms of circumstantial evidence: an eyewitness account saying he saw Baptist shot to the back of his head, and saw his body being hauled into a boat headed to the lagoon. There are also bloodstains in the boat.

Salazar was arraigned this afternoon before Magistrate Sherigne Rodriguez who remanded him to prison until June 26.

Channel 7

#473324 - 09/25/13 06:10 AM Re: Baptist Family Fears Loved One Was Murdered [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline


Danisha Valerio, 26, the girlfriend of Jeremy Baptist, 25, of Boca Del Rio, San Pedro, and Baptist’s family, are in anguish and are hoping that his body is soon recovered so that they can have closure and move on.

The grieving girlfriend said that Baptist went missing in the early morning hours of May 20 and tomorrow, September 20, will complete four months since he left home and has not yet returned.

Police believe that Baptist was shot and killed during an altercation with some men at a party about 1:30 a.m. Sunday, May 19, in the San Juan area of San Pedro, and that his body was taken out to the lagoon in a boat and dumped overboard.

Police say that the boat which they believe was used to carry the body to the lagoon was found, with blood in it. The blood was sent for analysis at the department’s forensic lab.

However, in an interview with Amandala this morning, Superintendent Luis Castellanos, Commander of San Pedro Town Police, informed the newspaper that the results of the test done on the blood found on the boat were inconclusive. When asked whether it was human blood, the Commander replied no, that it was in fact animal blood. He also said that they have not gotten any other leads concerning Baptist’s whereabouts, but they are still looking for him.

Police reports are that 1:30 a.m. Sunday, May 19, Jeremy Baptist became involved in an argument with a group of men at a residence in San Juan, and in the course of the altercation he was shot multiple times, then his body was put in a boat and taken out into the lagoon and disposed of by the men.

Valerio, his girlfriend, told police that on Sunday, May 19, she and Baptist attended a party at a residence located in the San Juan area, San Pedro, at about 7:45 p.m. He took her home about 10:00 that night because their baby, who had been with them at the party, began to get fussy. He then returned to the party, and that was the last time she saw him, Valerio said.

Valerio became worried when Baptist did not return home that night, and went to police on Sunday and reported him missing.

Police began an investigation the next day, Monday, into Baptist’s disappearance, and they concluded at that time that he had been shot and killed the previous night, Sunday, at the party and that his body had been disposed of.

Police said that they have searched the lagoon and coast, but have not found the body.

Valerio said that the family is urging police and the Coast Guard not to give up trying to find Baptist. They say that he was a peaceful and friendly person, and was easy to get along with. He did not deserve the kind of death he suffered, they say.



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