The Ministry of National Security is currently engaged in an all-out search in the area between Machaquila and San Jose, Hawaii for a missing member of a joint BDF/Police Border Patrol.
On September 3, 2020, at 8:00 a.m. the patrol commander reported that PC Bernard Ical did not arrive at the rendezvous point in San Jose, Hawaii along with the remainder of the patrol.
For their safety, the patrol was recalled from Machaquila due to the pending threat of Hurricane Nana. According to the patrol commander, PC Ical had gone ahead of the rest of the patrol around 10:00 a.m. on September 2nd. The remainder left shortly after; however, they did not catch up with him and upon arriving at San Jose, Hawaii around midnight, they realised that he did not arrive at that location. The patrol waited until 8:00 a.m. expecting that PC Ical would show up. Thereafter, they reported that he was missing.
Search parties comprising of BDF, including the BDF Air Wing, and police have been deployed, and Guatemalan counterparts have been notified in case he may have mistakenly wandered into Guatemala.
PC Bernard Ical who was missing for 5 days and counting - turned up this afternoon, alive and well - right back at the Machaquila Observation Post where he disappeared last week Wednesday. What happened in those 5 days? Where was he? And how did he get back in one piece? Well, all that will be answered tomorrow morning in a press conference hosted by the Commissioner of Police in Belmopan.
But, tonight we can confirm that the 26 year old constable and father of two from San Roman, Stann Creek is safe and in good health, all things considered.
It's a huge relief for his family, and also for the police department and BDF. Jules Vasquez looks at the search efforts and all that could have gone wrong out there in the deep bush of the Columbia Forest Reserve:
Last night, our headline story was the happy news that Police Constable Ical, the officer who went missing somewhere in the wilds of the Colombia Forest Reserve, had turned up alive and well. As we told you, he was sent to the Machaquila Observation Post on September second - and arrived on the third - only to be told that he and 8 BDF soldiers on the patrol had to turn right back around because of the approaching Hurricane Nana.
Somehow, on the journey back to the evacuation point, PC Ical became separated from the BDF soldiers, and he went missing in the jungles of the Toledo District for 5 days.
Today, he was reunited with his family - and he told us that it was the sound of a search helicopter, which led him back to the Machaquila base.
This morning, he was safely delivered to his family at the Police Training Academy in Belmopan. 7News was there for his arrival in that same helicopter - and Daniel Ortiz has that story: