Features — 21 December 2012 — by Albert J. Ciego

Retired Police Inspector Conrad Jones, 64, of West Street, Belize City disappeared on September 12, 2012, in Hattieville, and Romel Palacio, Jr., 37, disappeared in Dangriga on Thursday, December 6. Their families mightily wish for them to be found and are at home for Christmas.

They must be present at the family table to eat the traditional Christmas dinner, and to make the family complete, relatives say.

Jones has been missing for over three months now. A Customs guard at the time he disappeared, Jones was returning home after concluding duties in Benque Viejo for Customs on Thursday, September 11. The driver of the vehicle he was in, left him at the Hattieville roundabout around 11:30 p.m.

A security guard for the Golden Haven Home for the elderly near the roundabout said that afterwards, around 2:00 a.m. that Friday morning, September 12, he saw Jones still in the area trying to get a passage to go home. He said that he went to make his security rounds on the compound, but when he came back around 2:30 a.m., Jones was nowhere to be seen.

Police and Customs officials searched the area, and in Hattieville but their efforts were fruitless.

The family is offering a $500 reward to be paid to anyone for information leading to the recovery of Jones, dead or alive. They can call the nearest police station or 0800 TIPS, or they can contact Silpa, Jones’ daughter, at phone numbers 605-4606.

The family said that not knowing where Jones is, is devastating them. They want to find him, even if he is dead, to give him a funeral, which he deserves. Most of all, though, they want him home with them for Christmas.

Conrad Jones was a police officer for over 30 years.

Palacio was last seen on the morning of Thursday, December 6, when he went to work to collect his pay. He was to have travelled to Belize City, and reports are that he was seen in the city on Thursday, after which he disappeared.

On Tuesday, December 11, his sister received a call from one of his friends informing her that Romel had been kidnapped and killed. To date, though Palacio’s whereabout is unknown, and his body has not been found. His sister said that he was a very responsible person, and was not one who would just disappear without telling family members where he was going.

At the time of his disappearance, Palacio was the main witness in the murder trial of Maurice and Emory Felix for the shooting death of Mitchum Heredia, and for the attempted murder trial, because the brothers allegedly also fired shots at him since he was along with Heredia when Heredia was shot multiple times and killed.

Killers even went into the family home, on Jane Usher Boulevard, where they shot and killed his father, Romel, Sr., on Father’s Day 2010. It is believed that if Palacio is dead, the brothers would be set free of the murder charges, since he is the main witness.

However, the family says that even if he is dead, they want his body so that he can be given a proper funeral.

Anyone with information that can lead to the successful recovery of Romel Palacio, Jr., dead or alive, are urged to contact the nearest police station or his sister at 623-2048.

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