Fire and Death at Palmero Point

The buildings at Palmero Point before the fire. Mr. Jiron's body was found in ashes of the building on the left.
On or about December 30 a fire occurred at Palmero Point, engulfing three structures in flames and resulting in the death of Rolf Jiron, whose body was found in the ashes.

According to San Pedro Police Department's Chief Inspector Dean Lozano the property containing the burned structures belongs to David Sellon, a U.S. citizen living in Colorado. The regular watchman for the property is Edberto Pech, known as "Mosco," who lived with his common-law wife, Linda Sealy, at Palmero Point. Pech asked for a holiday to visit his family in Sarteneja and Sellon's business associate, Janis Morin, granted him the holiday providing he found a replacement to caretake the property while he was gone.

Rolf Jiron was hired for a four day period and on Monday, December 30 at about 4 p.m. he was taken by skiff to the property and the fire is assumed to have happened late that evening or in the early morning hours of the 31st. Because of the remote location of the property no one actually witnessed it burning.

On the day of the 31st Linda Sealy's brother, Winfield, passed Palmero Point in a boat and noticed the house had been burned. He and his brother, Carl, attempted to get in touch with Linda Sealy who was in Chetumal, Mexico. When Linda Sealy returned from Mexico she immediately came to the San Pedro police station and reported the fire at 1:40 pm on January 1st.

On January 2, Carl and Winfield Sealy went to the site of the fire and discovered some human remains which they brought to the San Pedro police station. Officers from the Criminal Investigation Bureau (CIB) and police doctor Estradabrand examined the bones. The initial determination was only that the bones were calcinated as a consequence of dry heat. The Belize Fire Department investigates fires of a suspicious nature and those involving death. The Belize Fire Department was informed on January 2 and visited the site January 3d with a team made up of the San Pedro Fire Chief, a representative of the Belize Fire Department and a constable from the San Pedro police department.

The Police Department spokesman said that arson is not suspected because so far the evidence does not suggest it. The house and property were uninsured, there was no electricity at the house and candles were used for lights. Jiron was known to be a smoker and a heavy drinker, according to the spokesman.

Rumours of a headless body found among four burned out houses were laid to rest by the police spokesman. The property contains two houses approximately six feet apart that were joined by a common deck. Both houses and the porch were burned along with a gazebo at the northeast corner of the property. The spokesman explained that the houses were built up four feet off the ground and shifting timbers and falling walls can account for the scattering of the calcinated bones.

On January 3rd, David Jiron, Rolf's brother returned to the burned building and discovered some additional remains which he brought to the police station. Officers of the CIB were called and are scheduled to arrive on the island January 7.

Mr. Jiron was a familiar figure in San Pedro, usually working in the airstrip area.

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