BELIZE CITY–Amandala has been informed that Edmund “Roach” Roches, 54, a resident of Lake I, was found dead in his house at 8293 Miller Street off Administration Drive at about 5:30 this evening by his friend, Francis “Ginja “Augustine, and other men who forcefully entered the house when “Roach” failed to respond to their call after he told them, earlier this morning, to come and check on him at about that time.
Police were called, and they took him to the morgue at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, where he was declared dead on arrival at about 7:30 tonight.
In an interview with Amandala at the scene, Augustine said that he came to visit his friend this morning and was concerned, because Roach was not well and his voice was weak. He offered to take him to the hospital because something was bothering him, but Roches refused to go.
Augustine said he then ran down the stairs, threatening to report the situation to Roaches’ relatives and loved ones, and to call the BERT ambulance, because he was refusing to go to the hospital, and that was when Roches told him to come back at about 5:00 that evening to check on him.
Augustine said that when Roches would go out, he would lock his house with a padlock that was visible, indicating that he was not at home.
When he came at about 5:00 to check on Roches, said Augustine, there was no padlock on the door, indicating that Roches was at home. Augustine said that he began to shout for Roches, and knocked on the door, but there was no response, despite his loud banging and shouting.
Augustine then inquired in the neighborhood if they had seen Roches leave the house, and was told that no one had seen him leave. He said that a feeling came over him that something was seriously wrong. He then got two men and they forced open the door, and that was when they found Roches lying on the floor, between the bathroom and his bedroom, motionless.
Augustine said that he and another neighbour, Mackie “Ranger Ruga” Nunez, called 911 and the police.
Augustine said that Roches was their friend and was one of the members of a group of them which socialized together, but he became concerned about him when he began to get sick. It was then that he offered to take him to see a doctor.
Roches was last seen alive at about 11:00 this morning when the neighbors saw him walking slowly to the Chinese store, after which he returned home.
A small crowd of about 25 neighbors and friends converged in front of Roches’ house to pay their respects to him and to watch the police undertake the sombre task of taking him down from his house on a stretcher. Because the stairs were rather steep, everyone held their breath when it looked as if he would slide forward, off the stretcher, when two policemen were taking him down.
Foul play is not suspected, and police have declared it a sudden death
Edmund “Roach” Roches will be remembered for his frequent calls to Wave Radio’s talk show, boldly and loudly expressing his political views, and making the nation know his identity by calling his name, so that no mistake could be made about what he was saying.
He was originally from Dangriga, and a graduate of the Stann Creek Ecumenical High School.
He is survived by his sisters, Marion McNab, Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Governance, Improvement and Elections & Boundaries Department, and Harriet Ann Roches Anderson, and brother, Arthur Roches, the former UDP representative from Dangriga.
He is also survived by many other relatives, friends and associates.