They said they were searching for money and murder weapon

Marilyn Brown Elijio and her family of Marcus Garvey Street, Belize City, are very angry after the tomb of her parents, Albert and Carolyn Brown, who died in May and December, 1957, and were buried in a tomb on their farm in the Lucky Strike area, was “busted open” sometime between 2:30 and 3:30 this afternoon by police who were searching for a gun and proceeds of a robbery.

In the tomb also were the remains of Marilyn’s sister, Gwendolyn, who died in May in the USA, but whose ashes were laid to rest in the tomb, and her brother Collet Brown, who died 59 years ago. The tomb reportedly was “busted open” by police without any permission being granted by Marilyn and her family. The farm is now being occupied by Frank Elijio, the son of Marilyn Elijio, the eldest child of Albert and Carolyn; and police, after desecrating the tomb, found nothing of interest in it.

Police said that they opened the tomb after they were informed that a gun used in a murder, and proceeds of a robbery, were hidden in it. Police said they are trying to recover the gun used to kill Jorge Blanco, the driver of a Mennonite truck, who was killed at about 12:30 Friday, October 25, during a robbery in the course of which $10,000 was taken from Blanco’s boss, and his two sons.

Kimara Elijio, Frank Elijio’s wife, who was present when the tomb was “busted open”, said that the top portion of the tomb was opened; this housed the ashes of Gwendolyn Brown. She said that a box was retrieved and opened, but it only contained ashes.

She told Amandala that they had all attended the funeral when the sealed ashes were put to rest in the tomb, and this is the first time that it has been exposed.

Kimara said that she was at home when the police came and told her that they needed a “maul” (sledgehammer) to break the tomb open. She was then told to stay in the area, and her phone was taken away. She gave them the “maul” and workmen who came with the police began breaking the tomb. She said that she was not shown a warrant.

Marilyn said that she was at work when she was informed by her daughter-in-law that the tomb was being desecrated. She quickly got permission from her employer to leave and invited Amandala to go to the area to see what was happening.

On arrival, police officers were seen closing and re-concreting the top portion of the tomb, but access to the area was denied, and we could only observe from a distance.

Afterwards, an officer came and explained that they were acting on the basis of information they received and that they were reliably informed that the gun and proceeds of the robbery and murder were hidden in the tomb, and that the information appeared credible.

Marilyn said that they had just repaired and upgraded the tomb, and spent about $2,500 to get the work done, and that permission to open the tomb should have been gotten from her. Her son, Frank Elijio, is a farmer who, along with his family, is occupying the farm, where he plants plantains and okra.

About 11:00 on Saturday, Frank Elijio was at home getting ready to come to Belize City with his family when the police, dressed in civilian clothes, came to the farm and arrested him. He initially ran when they came, but when they fired at him and he realized that they were police officers, he returned, he said.

His truck was searched, and $4,000 was found in the vehicle. Frank Elijio was then arrested and charged with handling stolen goods, and conspiracy to commit robbery.

Marilyn says that she has documents to show that Frank pawned the vehicle to Monica’s Pawn Shop to buy a windshield for his vehicle. However, Frank was taken to Belize City Magistrate’s Court along with three other men and remanded to prison on the charges of conspiracy to commit robbery and handling stolen goods.

Marilyn says that she is confident, however, that Frank will be exonerated.