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#513593 - 05/08/16 05:56 AM Island footballer found murdered on South AC
Marty Offline

San Pedro police are investigating the murder of local athlete Melvin Almendarez, who was killed Friday night, May 6th. Almendarez’s body was found in the Mosquito Coast Area of South Ambergris Caye shortly after 10PM with a single gunshot wound to the head. The events that led to the murder are not yet known, but San Pedro Police have confirmed that a Canadian National has been detained in relation to Almendarez’s death.

According to official reports, members of the South Ambergris Caye Neighborhood Watch (SACNW) were startled when they heard a gunshot in their neighborhood around 10PM. They immediately notified the San Pedro Police Department. Upon the arrival of the police to the area, a search was conducted to determine the source of the gun shot sounds. Around 10:30PM Almendarez’s body was discovered lying in a pool of blood across from the Belize Consolidated Water Services lagoon.

Police have since secured the crime area and are waiting for the Scenes of Crime Inspectors to arrive from mainland Belize to process the area. Following the inspection, Almendarez’s body will be transported to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital in Belize City for a postmortem examination. Results from the analysis of the scene may lead to the prosecution of the person currently in police custody over the murder.

Locally known as “Catracho”, Almendarez was a well-known footballer on the island. Family and friends have expressed their sympathies over his death. He is survived by his wife and three children.

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

#513632 - 05/10/16 06:23 AM Re: Island footballer found murdered on South AC [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Popular Footballer Killed In San Pedro

Police in San Pedro are investigating the murder of Melvin Almendarez, an island football star. He was found dead in the Mosquito Coast Area of South Ambergris Caye. Original reports were that he was shot once to the head, and that the cops had detained a Canadian national for it. But no arrests have been made. And the community is left to speculate, and grieve for the well-loved footballer. Today Emanuel Pech traveled to San Pedro to find out.

Emanuel Pech reporting
This is Melvin Almendarez- a 31 year old Honduran National, who moved to Belize over a decade ago with the woman who became his wife and mother of his three kids.

He didn't have a regular 8 to 5 job. He worked in San Pedro as a freelance artist and did just about anything to sustain his small family.

But if there is anything that Melvin will always be remembered by it is his passion and love for football.

Nancy Tun, Wife of Deceased
"I will always remember him playing football."

Kent "Bob" Gabourel , Sports Coordinator
"The passion that he had for football was beyond expectation. He had dreams to one-day play in Belize National Football Team or go back to Honduras and play professional football over there. But we all have dreams and sometimes it doesn't come to light. One more thing I can tell you is that his vision was for his son to grow up to be a professional footballer."

But now the family is left behind picking up the pieces of these broken dreams, shattered by the death of Almendarez.

Supt. Sandra Bodden, OC, San Pedro Police
"On Friday May 6th at about 11:30 PM acting on information received, police visited the south of San Pedro Town; about a half mile south of the town where on arrival about 130 feet into a feeder road on the left hand side they found the lifeless body of a male Hispanic person."

And it was much to the disbelief of the family, friends and the community at large that this Hispanic male person turned out to be Melvin Almendarez or "Catracho" as he was more commonly known.

Nancy Tun, Wife of Deceased
"I did not believe that they killed him. For me it was a big shock because when they went to look for me and said 'they killed your husband', I said 'I can't believe it'. They took me to the place and I did not want to see the body, I just told a friend to go and check if it was my husband and they told me yes. I cannot believe it; why did they kill him? He was a nice guy here on the island. Everybody loves him."

Kent "Bob" Gabourel, Sports Coordinator
"I went with the intention 'I hope it's not him, I don't want it to be him, I hope'. So when we got to the feeder Road and walked a couple meters in, flashed the light and I saw the body there crouching position. I was looking and was like 'no this can't be'. The police man asked if its him and I said 'yeah'. I held my head and was like 'no this can't be' and said 'yes officer this is Melvin; this is Catracho'."

Supt. Sandra Bodden, OC, San Pedro Police
"The male person was dressed in a checker short pants and he had no shirt. He was seen with injuries to his head, his face and abrasions to his chest."

Residents report hearing a single gunshot in the area, although police say they found no expended shells and could not confirm if Almenderez indeed died at the end of a gun barrel. But, why would anyone want to kill a beloved community resident and rising football star like that?

Authorities are remaining tight lipped on the situation so far, but reports have it that the main suspect for the crime is a Canadian National-someone well known to Almendarez, and someone who in fact sponsored his football team.

However no arrest has been made. In the meantime family, friends and the entire community of San Pedro grieves for the death of Almendarez.

Kent "Bob" Gabourel, Sports Coordinator
"He played a big role in our community, trying to uplift sports in our community with the kids so it's a big loss to the community and the kids."

Almendarez's family is having a vigil for him tonight meanwhile police continue to investigate.

Channel 7

Catracho” taking aim at the goal during a past football tournament, where he played with Team Peace Makers.

Still no arrests in murder of Melvin Almendarez

The San Pedro Police Department continue their investigation in the murder of 31-year-old local athlete Melvin Almendarez, Honduran National.

At the crime scene, investigators were unable to find an expended shell from the presumable weapon used in the murder. As to the motive for his murder, that remains a mystery, as the police are still trying to put all information together on the incident. “So far we have been unable to establish a motive as the investigation is very young,” said Officer in Charge of the Coastal Executive Unit Superintendent Sandra Bowden. “We have some information we are working on, however, at this time there isn’t much that we would be able to reveal in terms of what has been done so far and where are going with the investigation.” Bowden indicated that no evidence was found that could point to any illicit activity that would have led to the murder. She also mentioned that Almendarez was not known to be a trouble maker to the police, and in fact, was well known in the community as a talented football player.

The Almendarez family is devastated, and according to his wife Nancy Almendarez, they demand justice and hope police punish the culprit responsible for his death. “He did not deserve to die like that; he was a good husband and father. He was a role model for the children, particularly in football. It was his life. Everybody will miss him,” she said. Mrs. Almendarez realizes that she will now be father and mother to their three children, and even though it will not be easy, she understands that life must go on.

Funeral arrangements for Almendarez are been arranged for either Tuesday, May 10th or Wednesday May 11th, and family members continue to ask anyone that would like to assist them with expenses to feel free to approach them.

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

A Football Player is Slain on La Isla Bonita

Melvin Almendarez

The last time we reported on a murder in San Pedro AC was back in March of this year. It appeared that violence and crime were on pause, but on Friday night, the body of a well-known football player was found in the south of the island on a feeder road. Police happened on the body of Melvin Almendarez; it had injuries to the head, face and chest. While a motive has not been established, a Canadian national is being questioned because some of Almendarez’s belonging were found at his property. News Five’s Duane Moody reports.

Duane Moody, Reporting

Murders in San Pedro for 2016 so far have been few and far apart; so on Friday night when the body of Melvin Almendarez was found near a sports bar south of the town, it was cause for concern. Sometime after eleven p.m., south patrol officers were conducting routine watch in the area when they heard what was believed to be the blast of a gunshot. Minutes later, the officers would discover the body of the twenty-six year old Honduran national.

Supt. Sandra Bodden, O.C., San Pedro Police Formation

“Police visited the south of San Pedro Town, about a half mile south of the town, where upon arrival about a hundred and thirty feet into a feeder road on the left hand side of the same feeder road, they found the lifeless body of a male Hispanic person. The male person was dressed in a checkered short pants and he had on no shirt. He was seen with injuries to his head, to his face and abrasions to his chest. Initial investigation reveals that the person was later identified as Melvin Ariel Almendarez Mejia, twenty-six years Honduran painter of DFC area. He was last seen entering the south of the island by security guards in that area.”


“Going back to the crime scene, were there any expended shells that were found there?”

Supt. Sandra Bodden

“As far as we have been able to determine, not at this time.”


“And no apparent gunshot wounds on the body?”

Supt. Sandra Bodden

“The postmortem will determine what was the cause of his death. So far, we have not been able to say whether yes or no it is actually a gunshot or not.”

Almendarez’s body was discovered about a mile and a half from where he lived in the DFC area of San Pedro. It’s been almost three days since he was killed, and investigators say, a motive has not been ascertained.

Supt. Sandra Bodden

“At this time, our investigations are still young. It has been just about forty-eight hours since the incident took place and we are still trying to put the pieces together. We have some information that we are working on, however, at this time, there isn’t much that we would be able to reveal in terms of what has been done so far and where we are going.”

Duane Moody

“Now, we understand that there is a person currently in detention. Has that been able to help you guys in determining a motive for this crime?”

Supt. Sandra Bodden

“So far we have not been able to establish a motive for this incident; like I said, we are still investigating.”

The body of Almendarez was shirtless…dressed only in a short pants and was face up on the side of the road. His belongings—a bicycle, a pair of slippers and his shirt—were, according to residents, discovered at Coral Garden near the entrance to the DFC area on San Pedro. Reports are that a golf cart was also discovered with what is believed to be Almendarez’s blood. By Saturday evening, a Canadian national, who News Five understands has been supporting Almendarez’s football team, was taken into custody.

Sandra Bodden

Supt. Sandra Bodden

“We have no evidence at this time to suggest that anything illicit was happening.”

Duane Moody

“Ma’am we got information that his bicycle was found at a resort nearby and that a golf cart was also discovered with blood, believed to be that of Mister Almendarez. Can you confirm whether that is the case?”

Supt. Sandra Bodden

“At this point I cannot confirm nor can I deny. Again the investigation is still young; we have to go where our leads take us.”

Duane Moody

“His bicycle was found at the residence of a Canadian national; can you talk to us about that? What’s the linkage there?”

Supt. Sandra Bodden

“At this time, I will not be able to talk about that. We don’t want to jeopardize the investigation and so we don’t want to divulge too much information.”

Catracho, as he was affectionately known, was a painter and well-known football player on the island. According to the police, Almendarez is not known to be involved in any criminal activity.

Supt. Sandra Bodden

“Since I have taken over as O.C. San Pedro, I have never been in contact with Mister Almendarez and so in that respect, I don’t believe that he is known; however, he was a well known football player in the community. That I can say. Like I said, the investigation is still young. Based on what we have so far, we will have to seek legal advice from our legal counsel in Belmopan and at the D.P.P. Office to see where we go. So I can’t say yes, we will be pressing charges or no we won’t be pressing charges.”

A post mortem will be conducted on the body to determine the cause of death. Duane Moody for News Five.

Channel 5

#513687 - 05/12/16 05:34 AM Re: Island footballer found murdered on South AC [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

No Arrests For Island Footballer

Police in San Pedro have yet to arrest anyone for the murder of 31 year old Melvin Almendarez. It's gotten the attention of San Pedro residents because Almendarez was not known as a troublesome person. Everyone knew him for his involvement in youths and sports- particularly football.  In fact, on the same weekend he was murdered, the team he used to coach was supposed to participate in an ongoing tournament on the island. But that never happened. So while the family continues to mourn the death of Almendarez, police continue their investigations. Unfortunately they are still no closer to making an arrest.  As you may be aware island cops were questioning a Canadian National for the murder.  So, is he off or he still a person of interest in this homicide? Today we posed that same question to Inspector Fitzroy Yearwood, the public Relations officer for the Eastern Division North. Here is what he said. 

Inspector Fitzroy Yearwood - PR, Eastern Division North
"You know with murder it's a timely process. We want to make sure that we have all our T's crossed and all our I's dotted. We are investigating that murder; we had someone of interest detained over the weekend. That person was questioned, that person was charged for another offence, he was taken to court and fined by the magistrate. He is still a person of interest for this murder investigation and as soon as have anything news worthy or that we believe the public needs to know, I will be the first to call you."

Emanuel Yama
"Now could you comment on the fact if there is in fact he; there is any restrictions on his movements. He was fined, that's fine, he was released; are police constantly vigilant about his movements? And whether or not; we know he is not born Belizean."

Inspector Fitzroy Yearwood - PR, Eastern Division North
"I cannot reveal that and that would be up to the court whether or not his movement would be restricted but I know that our investigators are in that office back and we will continue until we are believe or his name is cleared as a person of interest in this murder."

Authorities remain optimistic as they continue to investigate the murder and the Canadian National continues to be one of the key persons of interest. However as you heard, he was released with no travel restrictions.

Channel 7


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