Is Jack Back?: 13 Year Old Girl Killed In Cayo
13 year old Jasmine Lowe, Girl Scout from Santa Elena in the Cayo district went missing on Monday - and the very worst fears were confirmed today when she was found dead a mile outside of Santa Elena Town in Cristo Rey village.
7news was at the scene and we spoke to her family, police and friends about her disappearance and death - here's the full story:
Jules Vasquez Reporting
Christopher Lowe - Father of the Deceased
"It's the worse news possible for any parent, that they found her but not how we were hoping."
They found her dead here at this farm in Cristo Rey Village where workers started smelling something rotting.
Senior Superintendent Chester Williams - Officer Commanding Cayo Division
"We got a call from a resident on Cristo Rey Road informing us that the body in an advance state of decomposition of a female has been discovered in a feeder road off the Cristo Rey Road, beside a farm. As a result of that information, the police visited the location where we confirmed that indeed a female child's body was in the area, in an advance state of decomposition."
She went missing on Monday where she was on her way to her mother's hairdresser's appointment.
"She is usually very intelligent at not jumping in any taxis, so she must have known the guy, and she should have crossed over the bridge, but she caught a taxi right in front of the supermarket, To The Max, by the bridge foot there. She was supposed to go up there to her mother's salon, to get her nails done and all that sort of thing. She wanted to look presentable at the Jubilee Valentine. She would usually cross the bridge and ride the Bullet Tree taxi, which is more direct that getting a ride by the bridge foot and going the opposite direction, circling all the way around. Even when I go to town - we live close by - I would walk before driving all the way around because it's quick and closer. So this just doesn't make any sense, and apparently, she talked to the person for a few minutes, either convincing her to be - at the end, I suspect. We don't know."
Whatever happened, she end up here dead, but police don't believe that she was killed here.
Senior Superintendent Chester Williams
"We are unable to say what degree of injuries, if any, may have caused the death of Jasmine. Due to the state that the body was in, we were unable to detect any obvious signs of violence. I believe that Jasmine may have been murdered, or kidnapped by someone she knew, and I say so because I do not believe that she would board a taxi, which was driven by a stranger, or go anywhere with someone who is unknown to her. From my own experience, having dealt with a number of dead bodies in the past, I believe that the time of death may have been sometime Monday night. And we also believe that she was murdered sometime Monday night, and the location where the body is at this, I do not believe that this is the area where she was murdered. We believe that she was murdered elsewhere, and dumped in that area. So, all of that will be confirmed by the doctor, as soon as he has conducted his post-mortem."
This afternoon, her parents had the awful task of identifying their dead teenaged daughter.
"She's decomposed, so she didn't look like her to me, but her mother identified the dress that she just bought for her on Saturday."
Key in this investigation will be this white station wagon, seen in the upper left of this surveillance video.
"My intension is to send the video for enhancement to see if we could pick up the license plate for the vehicle, as well as to be able to identify those who in the vehicle at the time. I do not want people believe that crime will be committed, and because the Belize Police Department doesn't have the capability, means that we will leave it at that. So, the US Embassy will be assisting us in trying to upgrade the video. It's a fairly good video just that we do not have the technology to zoom it in, that we will be able to identify the license plate of the vehicle, as well as those persons within the vehicle. The vehicle in question, as I said before is a white station wagon taxi. There are not many of them in San Ignacio, Benque Vejo, or Bullet Tree. Since Monday, we've brought in a number of these vehicles, and have interviewed the owners, eliminating them. But the one in particular that we are trying to find, we've been unable to do so. So we are hoping that with the enhancement of the vehicle, we'll be able to get a license plate number."
And now, the police department is hoping that the community will help them find this vehicle, and in so doing, help them to solve this horrible murder of 13 year-old Jasmine Lowe.
Kimo Jolly - Family Friend
"The first thing I heard was, 'Oh, she must have gone with a man.' That's the first thing that everyone was hurry to say. She is a little girl, who isn't that type of person any at all. All of us who know her know that this is not the case."
Miriam Ochaeta - Family Friend
"I've bought granola from that child at the market because she works with her enterprising father there. That is how I know this little girl, but she could have been my daughter too. It could have been anybody's daughter."
"I left her out of school for this year, and I am happy because I spent all this time with her. We climbed Victoria Peak 3 weeks ago with tour guides. Everyone just loves her. She get's along with young people, old people; she is kind of tom boyish. She plays football, and she likes peas and carrots."
Suleny Lowe - Sister of Deceased
"We had a very close relationship, and the person who did this; I hope that they find out who it is. He took away my only sister, and I don't anyone else. And I loved her a lot, and I am going to miss her."
"I would not say that Jack is back. Yes, it is an unfortunate incident, and as the police, we have to be concerned, and equally, we must do our best to give the community some degree of confidence that the police are doing the best that they can. And if Jack is back, as you may want to suggest, and if he is in my community, trust me, he won't last long."
"I just know that God is just and the person will pay. I mean, everyone says that they're going to catch all of that. Let's get real; murder is the easiest thing to get away in Belize, sad but true. Don't get caught with a stick of weed; they'll send up. It's ridiculous, but you have to learn to forgive."
Important notes are that, first, she was found fully clothed and her clothing was intact.
Second, the family has been busy calling her phone - and her father tells us that a Spanish speaking woman answered and hung up. He surmises that the woman may have found the phone.
Third, a post mortem was conducted on site by Dr. Mario Estradabran this afternoon. Late this evening, the family took the remains to bury at their property in Bullett Tree.
We'll keep following this story and have more on it tomorrow...
Post Mortem On Jasmine Lowe...
And, before we close, we have an update to our headline story. Police Forensic Pathologist Dr. Mario Estradabran finished his post mortem on 13 year old Jasmine Lowe this evening at around 6:00.
He could not determine the cause of death due to the advanced state of decomposition. He did observe superficial wounds, but these would not have been enough to cause the death of the 13 year old.
As we noted earlier on, her remains were taken immediately to the family property for burial...