2 suspects have been murdered; the other is in jail on a committal warrant
The murder of Brian Townsend, a Canadian Adventist missionary who was residing in the Valley of Peace, last Christmas, was later coupled with the subsequent deaths of two of the three suspects who were being sought in connection with the tragic homicide.
The other suspect, a 19-year-old Benque Viejo resident, who is believed to have been involved, was apprehended early this past February and sent to prison, not for Townsend’s murder, but based on a committal warrant for an outstanding court fine.
Six months later, following a breakthrough in the case, Belmopan police are now saying that the remaining suspect is one step closer to facing murder charges, based on the Director of Public Prosecutions’ discretion, since new evidence has surfaced.
Today, Superintendent Howell Gillett, Officer Commanding the Belmopan police, told reporters that yesterday, Monday, police received new information on the murder in the form of statements which will be sent to the DPP’s office for further advice.
Gillett stated that although they are hopeful that the new data will enable them to positively link the teenager to the homicide, the motive for Townsend’s killing is still unclear.
Police are expecting the directives from the DPP by the end of this week.
Townsend was kidnapped from his Valley of Peace home on Christmas Eve 2013 and his body was later discovered weeks later by Guatemalan authorities in Arenal, Guatemala, near Belize’s border with that country.
Then, in a bizarre twist of events, two of the known suspects, Raul Balona and Marlon Flores, were both violently killed a few weeks after Townsend’s death.
The 19-year-old allegedly implicated both dead men in two murders which occurred in Valley of Peace around the same time – that of Townsend, and Isidoro Bonilla, who was executed in his house in that village on December 13, 2013.