US Parents Detained For 13 Year Old Daughter Found Dead in San Pedro, Police Say Abuse
Tonight there is a very ugly and tragic story coming out of San Pedro. This 13 year old, Faye Lin Cannon is dead, and she appears to have died as a result of extreme physical and sexual abuse. The parents called police to their condominium unit on northern Ambergris Caye on Monday morning, saying the teenager was unresponsive. Her mother Anke Doehm told police that Faye woke up at 7:00 am, asked for water and went back to bed. 15 minutes later, her father, David Doehm found the child unresponsive. They called the police and a doctor confirmed that she was dead. But this was no ordinary death that the young girl endured. Her body was seen with multiple bruises to the arms and legs, plus she had a swelling on the right side of her head with a cut wound on top of the swollen area.
Her parents explained it by saying that Faye was mentally ill and would hit herself against the walls during her attacks. They also claimed that the teenager had been inside her room for the three weeks refusing to step outside or eat anything. Her mother added that Faye had complained of difficulty breathing on Sunday, July 2nd.
And while that's what they said, a post mortem examination conducted in Belize City yesterday found very differently. First the doctor observed that that the child had been physically and sexually abused. And second, It found that she died of chest compression, basically someone pressed down on her chest so hard that it broke three of her ribs, and punctured her heart.
It's a story that almost defies comprehension, and one that has shocked and shaken the San Pedro Community. Faye was born in China - and taken in by her adoptive parents who came to Belize from Hawaii in 2012. Her mother owns and manages a boutique in San Pedro, called Rubimoon where Faye could be often seen, along with her three sisters.
Tonight, those sisters are in the care of the Department of Human Services and the US Embassy. Via telephone San Pedro police discussed what they know so far:...
Supt. Henry Jemmott, OC - San Pedro "We have clear facts that a 13 year old child lost her life. The post mortem report is out there and the police is investigating this matter very carefully."
Jules Vasquez "Her parents, are they still in custody? When were they detained and do they remain detained at this time?"
Supt. Henry Jemmott, OC - San Pedro "They were detained this morning and they are in custody pending investigation. I don't want to draw a timeline on the arrest of anyone at this time."
Jules Vasquez "Are you seeking advice on what charges could or may be brought?"
Supt. Henry Jemmott, OC - San Pedro "The doctors and the officials have stated that it is a homicide."
Jules Vasquez "Had they sought medical attention for the child? Had the child been to any of the clinics out on San Pedro?"
Supt. Henry Jemmott, OC - San Pedro "Jules, there is nothing to suggest that, that child was ill over a time, there is no medical records to state that that was so."
Jules Vasquez "We have seen the police report and the conclusion is that is that there was physical and sexual abuse, but had the child been malnourished or dehydrated? Because I know the parents said that she had been in her room for 3 weeks not taking any nourishment."
Supt. Henry Jemmott, OC - San Pedro "Physical, meaning she was abused in the form of sexual. That is the physical type they are talking about. So, we are investigating that angle to try to find if what is speculated, occurred."
Jules Vasquez "In the report it is also stated that she would physically hit herself against the wall during her attack."
Supt. Henry Jemmott, OC - San Pedro "Maybe that is what they are saying. Our job is to ascertain of that occurred, when it occurred and what did they do in relation to that."
Jules Vasquez "They have 4 girls I am told. Are you all looking in to the situation on the wellbeing of the other girls?"
Supt. Henry Jemmott, OC - San Pedro "Yes. I must explain to you that we are dealing with this case very professionally. I could say that the human development officer had already come into effect, along with the US counselors. So those are the person who will be in charge of the kids."
Jules Vasquez "Was she indeed mentally ill as they have claimed? Because those who have seen her say she seems like a normal child."
Supt. Henry Jemmott, OC - San Pedro "What we are doing right now is doing an investigation into every aspect of this situation. What we would like is for the general public if they have any information to add to our case, for them to come forward to the station, call the 911 line or the police station number which is 206-2022."
Her parents remain detained tonight, and as you heard San Pedro police wouldn't discuss possible charges. We will keep following the case very closely.
American Parents Detained for Daughter’s Death in San Pedro
A teenage girl was found dead at a resort in San Pedro and police are investigating as a case of murder because a post mortem concludes that the child was physical and sexually abused. The body of thirteen-year-old Faye Lin Cannon also had a large swelling to the head and bruises on the arm and legs. Her adopted parents, an American couple, are in police custody pending charges of murder and sexual assault. The couple have told police the child was mentally challenged, but there is little to go by at this time to verify the mental state of the girl. Three other adopted siblings have been removed from the care of the parents. News Five’s Duane Moody reports on this very disturbing story.
Duane Moody, Reporting
An American couple is tonight in police custody pending charges for murder and sexual assault following investigation into the death of their thirteen-year-old adopted daughter. Fay Lin Cannon was found dead inside her room at the family’s rented condo one and a half miles north of San Pedro, at Grand Caribe. A doctor was called in before the police arrived to process the scene.
Supt. Henry Jemmott, Regional Commander, Coastal Executive Unit
“On the third of July, 2017 sometime around eight o’clock, police were called out to a hotel north of San Pedro…about a mile and a half north of San Pedro. The report was that a lifeless body of a female was at an apartment at that area. Upon arrival to that location, police saw the lifeless body of a thirteen year old female, Chinese descent, who we learnt to be a nationalized American. Immediately, police went into action and start doing their investigation. We saw some visible signs of bruising on the body so what we did was to secure the scene and commence an intense investigation. We have two persons in custody at this present moment, who are detained for this incident.”
“Can you confirm sir that the persons detained are the adopted parents of the deceased?”
Supt. Henry Jemmott
“Yes, those are the persons who were at the location at the time of the police arriving at that location.”
Since Monday, the family store Rubi Moon, located across from the offices of the San Pedro Town Council has been closed; a black bow indicates that they are mourning the death of a loved one. But just before eight o’clock this morning, David and Anke Doehm were detained by police following a post mortem on Cannon’s body which revealed that she was physically and sexually abused. Although the adopted mother in a statement to police claims that the minor was mentally ill and would throw herself into a wall and hurt herself, the post mortem also reveals that there was trauma to her chest.
Supt. Henry Jemmott
“The cause of the death from the post-mortem is compression on the chest causing internal haemorrhage; asphyxia. So at this time we are treating it as a homicide or murder and we are doing our utmost best to investigate this last incident that has occurred in San Pedro.”
“Now sir, the post mortem has also found that the minor had been physically and sexually abused. Is that right?”
Supt. Henry Jemmott
“At this point, I would say yes, but we would not like to speculate. We want to do more investigation into the matter and try to see if this is what actually occurred and to try to get other physical evidence to support that as well.”
The family has been living on San Pedro since 2014 and recently relocated north of the island. Cannon had three other sisters, who were also adopted by the American couple. Today, her siblings were taken under the care of Human Services. Regional Commander of the Coastal Executive Unit, Superintendent Henry Jemmott says that the U.S. Embassy has since been contacted.
Supt. Henry Jemmott
“The Human Development Office has been working in collaboration with us and with the U.S. Embassy, because these children are U.S. citizens. So we are working with them also to further the investigation to also check if they were sexually abused. If so, then we will do our best to investigate that as well. The children are presently with the Human Development and a counsellor from the U.S. Embassy will be also taking custody of these children and having see their safe care for the duration as the investigation continues.”
Police investigating death of 13-year-old Faye Lin Cannon
San Pedro Police are currently investigating the death of an American minor believed to have been physically and sexually abused. According to official reports, police responded to a “Sudden Death” alert at a hotel approximately one and a half miles North Ambergris Caye where they discovered the body of 13-year-old Faye Lin Cannon. Present at the scene were the child’s adopted parents, two American nationals, David and Anke Doehm.
The mother reported to police that at about 7AM on Monday, July 3rd, Faye woke up and asked for water and went back to bed. About 15 minutes later, her husband went to check on the child and realized she was unresponsive. After police arrived at the scene, Faye was pronounced dead at 8:57AM. The body was observed to have bruises to the arms, legs and there was a swelling to the right side of the head which appeared to be a cut wound.
During initial investigations, Faye’s parents testified that she was mentally ill and would physically hit herself against the walls during her attacks. They also claimed that the child had been inside her room for the past three weeks refusing to come out or eat anything. According to the mother, Faye had complained of difficulty breathing on Sunday, July 2nd.
The body was later transported to the Karl Huesnuer Memorial Hospital in Belize City where a post mortem examination conducted indicated that the child had been physically and sexually abused and the cause of death due to compression on the chest causing internal hemorrhage. Both parents have since been detained by San Pedro Police, pending investigation and charges.
Click here to read the rest of the article in the San Pedro Sun
#524456 - 07/07/1711:57 AMRe: 13 year old girl found dead, US Parents Held
US Couple Held Pending Charges For Death of 13 Year Old Daughter
Tonight, an American husband and wife are still detained for questioning in the death of their 13 year old adopted daughter. Faye Lin Cannon was found dead in her room in a condominium on northern Ambergris Caye on Monday morning. Her parents, Anke and David Doehm who have been living in Belize since 2012 told police she had been locked up in her room for three weeks refusing to come out or eat anything. They said that she'd had trouble breathing on Saturday, and then on Monday morning she woke up, asked for water and went back to bed. 15 minutes later, he father found her unresponsive. When police asked about visible bruises and a bump with a cut wound on her head, her parents said she was mentally ill, and would bang herself against the wall during her attacks.
But, a post mortem examination found that the child had been physically and sexually abused. It also concluded that she died of chest compression, the force from which fractured 3 ribs, and caused one of them to puncture her heart.
Faye Lin Cannon was born in China. and adopted by the couple. She had three sisters who were also adopted from different places in China. Anke and David Doehm moved to Belize from Hawaii in 2012, and she owns a boutique on the island called Rubimoon.
The tragic and deeply troubling circumstances of her death have outraged the San Pedro community and today townspeople came out in front of the police station to protest. Daniel Ortiz was there:
Daniel Ortiz reporting
Residents of San Pedro gathered outside of the Island Police Station to protest the murder of 13 year-old Faye Lin Cannon. They considered the teenager one of the island's precious children who needed protection. And when they learned how she died, they organized an impromptu demonstration.
Unfortunately, they did not get a police permit, and so this was an illegal gathering. And even though it was against the law, they still used it as a release valve for the rage at the innocent child's death.
Chris Burkey - San Pedro Resident "We filled the paperwork, so we will have a bigger one tomorrow at the central park. It's a touchy subject we don't want to affect the investigation. But we need some help out here. This child could have been saved. 13 years old with broken ribs and a fractured skull, after 3 and half years with trying to work with the social worker out here. So something got to change."
Michelle Huber - San Pedro Resident "We are crying and the island is hurt, because we don't do that to kids. We came out all in disarray. Didn't know what to do, just maybe here we would alleviate some pain that we are feeling."
And this community says that they did not stand by and just watched that abuse unfolding. They say that they reported it to the Social worker here on the island, but their concerns - they say - fell on deaf ears.
Michelle Huber - San Pedro Resident "For the past 3 years this island has cried on deaf ears."
Susana Eiley - San Pedro Resident "It is so disturbing. This child seem to have been abused over countless numbers of years. It has been reported to the police officers. It has been reported to the US Embassy and nothing was actually done."
Golda Swift - Teacher, San Pedro "I have been a social service on this island for over 20 plus years and I did report this case 3 years to him, about the abuse. Because there was some American couple that were staying downstairs where the kids were living and they say those kids cry whole night screaming, you hear beating, you hear cursing, you hear everything."
"I made it my own point to call the American Embassy and I told them that these people are Americans and they have these children and I am seeing what going on - they are cutting their hair. The sun hits on that side, the kids are under here by the town board hiding outside with their books studying like this. They get tired with one foot and they put another foot and that is not the way we were raised. My mom raised 12 and more than 12 set at her table and that's not the way."
"I went for the social worker and after he finish I say what happened, he says everything is okay. The beds are clean, they got food and they got everything. That's where it stays. I say please go upstairs where the social worker have his office, try find him and tell him, because I have already done my best."
"Lunch time she feeds them bread with water on the beach. So the community start doing things about this and nothing happened. We called the social worker because I have a restaurant in front of town. Our town board is right in front there and nothing is ever done and this is a crying shame, because we cried. They have move from apartment to apartment, because the same people from the community have heard how these kids cry."
Reporter "You feel that this particular case with Faye could have been avoided?"
Golda Swift - Teacher, San Pedro "It could have been. It hurts me because I came from a family of adopted kids. I am an adopted parent."
And with so much scorn and hate being heaped onto the social worker, we thought it only fair to hear his perspective on what interventions he tried to make on behalf of these kids.
Unfortunately, he was not there, and although the sign says that the Human Development office is open for business, no one answered even though we knocked and shouted at the window and the door for a very long time.
To hear it told from his harshest critics from today, this office either fails - or is simply unable - to do enough for the island communities of San Pedro and Caye Caulker.
Reporter "Do you feel we as a community failed these kids especially Faye?"
Michelle Huber - San Pedro Resident "We didn't act as a community. We didn't failed. But it fall on deaf ears. If the authorities, the social worker - if it's too much work for him, 20,000 and 15,000 in Caye Caulker - change him. Because we in the community of San Pedro we are tired of seeing this uniform people. By Friday right now most of the office are closed, because they go back to Belize. Everything is paid for them and how about us. Now we need license to stand up here peacefully. Do you see anything wrong with these people?"
And these residents say that Faye and her adopted siblings are not the only children who are at risk of molestation and abuse. They say that they know of more kids who need help.
Golda Swift "Myself was in a situation of a physical molestation that was taken place. The child confided in me, I reported it to my administration, their words were Ms. Golda that is a Pandora box, might as well you leave it there."
Virginia Wallace - San Pedro Resident "Our island really needs a place for the children. I really feel they need that kind of help, because there are lots of frustrated children in this island being hurt, not only hurt, but there are mothers that are dealing with children that they need help."
Susana Eiley - San Pedro Resident "In one way it's a little bit too late because a little angel has die, passes away and we didn't need that. But I think that the group of us will organize - we are going to be checking, we are going to be our own police and I hope somebody of law would help us. If they don't help us, we are going to go to Belmopan. We are going to go somewhere for help. If the police or the social service does not want to help us, we are going to go crying to Belmopan."
Faye Lin's mother Anke Doehm was taken before the San Pedro Magistrate this evening to answer to an application from the prosecution. The Government is seeking to take custody of her three surviving children at this time. It was a closed door hearing, and so we were unable to find out if the Government was successful in this application.
Police believe they have sufficient evidence to charge the couple for causing Faye Lin's death - but the Department's legal expert has advised them to gather more statements before bringing charges. But because investigators were unable to charge today, the couple could be released tomorrow, since their 48 hours of detention will have expired. But, we are told police plan to bring a lesser charge before that so they can hold them until Monday when additional, more serious charges will be brought.
Now, as we noted, Faye Lin had three sisters - all adopted by the couple from different families in China. Faye Lin was the second oldest. Information to 7News is that evidence gathered suggests strongly that two of the other girls were also molested. Tonight they are in the care of the Human Services Department in concert with the US Embassy.
The common sentiment around the island is that ‘we failed Faye Lin Cannon.” Shortly after news of her death broke on Thursday, July 6th, many people claimed that they ‘knew something was wrong’. That somehow, they suspected that perhaps all was not well within her family. Faye and her three sisters were often seen outside of their mother’s store, Rubimoon, in all kinds of weather. Long-time residents claim that they made several reports to authorities, including the Human Development office on the island, but nothing ever came of it. Others claim that they went as far as the US Embassy asking for some kind of investigation, and once again, nothing was ever done.
The storefront where many witnessed Faye and her sisters standing quickly became a memorial spot. Flowers, candles, and silent prayers were offered the evening after her death was announced. With heavy hearts, island residents organized a quick protest for Friday, July 7th in hopes of bringing justice to Faye’s senseless death. Concerned community members gathered with posters in front of the San Pedro Police Station on Friday, July 7th, where the Doehms were being held in custody, pending charges. Several voiced their concerns on the tragic issue, saying that San Pedro needs to ‘wake up’. In addition, many residents refuted the Doehms claim in the police report, where they classified Cannon as ‘mentally challenged’. According to these residents, Cannon was bright, and reportedly a straight ‘A’ student at Isla Bonita Elementary School. However, for quite some time now, Cannon had not been enrolled in school.
Click here to read the rest of the article in the San Pedro Sun
Shaken San Pedranos Mourn Faye Lin Cannon
The community of San Pedro is still reeling and outraged at the death of a thirteen-year-old girl, one of four girls adopted by American parents. Faye Lin Cannon was found dead since Monday; she had signs of physical and sexual abuse. Police are now looking at her parents as suspects in her death. David and Anke Doehm have been in police detention and have not been charged, but the Human Services Department has removed the other children from their care. Today in San Pedro a peaceful protest was held and the community is wondering whether the system have failed the young girl. News Five’s Andrea Polanco reports.
Shelley Arceo Huber, Resident
“Welcome to La Isla Bonita! That all of our taxes, the amount of money that this community pays. What are getting? Dead children? Abused women? Abused community? Because when they abuse a child, they abuse us.”
Andrea Polanco, Reporting
Could thirteen-year-old Faye Lin Cannon still be alive today? The San Pedro Community believes so. The teenager was found dead in her room at her family home and her adopted parents, American couple David and Anke Doehm are the suspects, after medical examinations show that the child was physically and sexually abused. Today, residents staged a peaceful protest in front of the police station; they say the system failed Faye Lin.
Shelley Arceo Huber
“I saw it and many people saw it. There is the Town Board and Rubi Moon – these people’s gift shop and I saw it and many people saw it. “
“Did you ever report it?”
Shelley Arceo Huber
“I called the American Embassy and they told me that they were going to come. And they never came.”
“This is three and a half years ago?”
Shelley Arceo Huber
“Three and a half years ago. I called the Human Service from San Pedro and he never came.”
“Do you feel that the system failed this child?”
Shelley Arceo Huber
“The system has failed the entire community because this is not the only child. The abuse and incest in this community is out of control. We want no mercy for these people, but I condemn the authorities for not…doing anything.”
Susana Eiley, Resident
“I had reported this case three years and half.”
“You personally reported it?”
“I personally reported it.”
“To Mister Adan Kay.”
“Who is Mister Adan?”
“The social worker from San Pedro, ma’am. And I never got a response.”
“What did he say when you reported it to him?”
“He did go and see it because I was behind it and he said the kids are okay; the beds are clean and the house is clean; everything is okay.”
“So, you believe the social worker out here is not doing his job; he’s ineffective?”
“He’s not, he is not, he is not doing it. He is not doing his job. He is ineffective. And everybody can confirm it. When you go to the office you do not find him. He needs to get his act together.”
Celi Greif, Resident
“I was neighbours with them for about two years. The saddest part is that all the concern here is that at least twenty people went to social services to report this. Miss Susana Eiley twice took them. So, it breaks my heart to think that these kids every day I saw them going to school and not knowing the pain they were going through.”
Faye Lin and her three sisters lived in San Pedro with the Doehms. The girls attended this school – La Isla Bonita primary school. Only the eldest completed her primary education; two of the others were taken out of school, whilst only the youngest remain in school. Faye Lin was taken out three years ago; in September she would have been going into standard six. She completed standard three with good grades – as can be seen in this grade book she was an A student. And so today, the school mourns her passing. There were little signs that something was wrong – but her past teachers never suspected it was so serious.
Jaime Jimenez, Standard 3 Teacher, La Isla Bonita Elementary School
“I had an incident in class with Faye. One day I told her that I would call her dad in because she was misbehaving. And when I did that there was an aggressiveness that came out from her. She even bite my hand and I told her let’s go I will take you in the office and call your dad. But she insisted not to leave the class and then there I said ok I will not call your dad but what is the problem? So, that is when I called Miss Addy and I told her and we called the parents in and they just denied everything from us, everything. That is the last incident I had so I don’t know if because of that incident we had there and she was already speaking out; so I don’t know if that is why they took her out from school.”
“What was she saying?”
“She was basically telling me that she hated her dad but with an aggressiveness and then she cried.”
“Do you think the community or if the people around had done more, Fay would still be alive today?”
“I will say yes. I will say yes because Faye was speaking out already. She was. But we couldn’t do anything because then she stopped school and even we ask why she stopped and we as the teachers started to investigate if she was actually doing home school so that we can actually report it but we couldn’t find nothing.”
“Do you have any regrets as her teacher that you didn’t see that there was more behind the mask that she put forward?”
“Well, ma’am I really feel hurt. I feel like I could do something, but I tried my best.”
Voice of: Hector Trejo, Standard 2 Teacher, La Isla Bonita Elementary School
“There were several allegations about them being treated wrongly. We never wanted to interfere in their business but some people in the community did do something about it and nobody paid them any mind.”
“So, why didn’t you guys at the school didn’t try to intervene, this is a child we are talking about?”
Voice of: Hector Trejo
“Yes. That is true. We never intervened because we thought that the authorities were going to take care of it.”
“Do you feel any sort of regret that you guys didn’t do more?”
Voice of: Hector Trejo
“Definitely. I really feel bad for Faye.”
“As the Principal of the school, did you have any interaction with the parents; what were they like?”
Addy Martinez, Principal of Isla Bonita Elementary School
“Basically, no. They didn’t really come to the school for anything. They would just call or text me if the girls were okay. I never talked to them or anything like that.”
“Now, I understand they pulled two of the girls out from school before they completed their education here at La Isla Bonita, is that correct?”
“Yes, ma’am it is correct.”
Residents say that outside of school, the parents treated the girls inhumanely. They allege that the Doehms would cut off the girls’ hair as a form of punishment, put them to stand in the sun and gave them very little food to eat.
Shelley Arceo Huber
“We saw it in front of their business. They never allowed the children to go inside. The sun is hot here and these are the children – if they lean they are watching them from inside. This is how the kids were – if they get tired on this foot they put the other foot. When the sun is here they go under the Town Board office and it was the same thing for the four kids. And when it was lunch time, she went and bought four packs of bread and water and sat them on the beach on a log and gave them that to eat. And when they got upset, when the children wouldn’t want to obey them they would cut their hair way up here like man because they are little Indonesians or little Chinese kids. The woman told me that she picked them out of the garbage, and now she disposed one in the garbage.”
Residents say that the parents never integrated in the community like other expats. And while the parents allege that Faye-Lin was mentally ill, just about everyone refuted that claim. Today, San Pedranos say the parents should be jailed.
Susana Eiley, Resident
“I want them to send to jail and throw away that key. Rot in jail. And let them feel what it is to feel when you are raped. Let them feel it. Because it is not fair to be abusing a thirteen year old. The way she died we could have stopped it. We could have stopped it.”
“Did anyone from the community ever approach the parents and talk to them about what was happening?”
“Those parents they were never social person. They were always mad and only looked on one side and that is the way they were growing the kids.”
“So, they didn’t integrate in the community?”
“Never, never. We have a lot of the expats that come here. They have the south neighborhood, the north neighborhood, they go around and they say hello. These ones, you knew there was something there.”
“The parents have made allegations that Faye was mentally ill; what would you say to that?”
Voice of: Hector Trejo
“Well, I think those allegations are wrong. I taught her for one whole year and if she had been mentally ill some type of signs would have been given to us.”
“Seeing her or hearing from your child, did you ever hear that this child was mentally ill? Did she display any of that in the classroom?”
Chris Burkey, Expat, San Pedro
“No. Not at all. The parents are psychopaths, obviously. They are definitely lying. She was a smart little girl. First in her class.”
“How do you process this? This is something that happened right in your community?”
“I am just angry. I don’t know how to process it. I doesn’t make sense. I am just angry and heartbroken.”
Scarier that a 13-year old girl is dead with severe physical injuries...worst case at the hands of her family, best case through neglect of her family. It is good that people are outraged when authorities did nothing. Children are vulnerable and voiceless, while I agree that you cannot jump to conclusions your attitude when it comes to children being the victims of crime is sad. That a community would rally to demand protection and services for children is a positive thing. Lets hope it stays peaceful.
#524468 - 07/08/1711:46 AMRe: 13 year old girl found dead, US Parents Held
'Lynch mob'? I was at the demonstration yesterday outside the police station. There was not a single thing that resembled a lynch mob. It was simply a bunch of upset and frustrated community members making their voices heard respectfully. People are upset and right to be outraged and to demand answers and change to make sure this doesn't happen again.
Belize child protection service never even went to check on this child so explain to me how this is going to help? That is what the protesters were saying, the GOB knew about it and chose to do nothing
Last edited by dabunk; 07/08/1706:28 PM.
#524475 - 07/09/1705:49 AMRe: 13 year old girl found dead, US Parents Held
There is so much conflicting information coming out. I hope we get some clarity eventually. I read that they *did* go inspect the house but they found nothing to be concerned about, partially because it was "clean". I wonder how much could be determined in this case by a random home inspection, anyway.