Headline — 30 May 2014 — by Kareem Clarke
Estranged couple “stab up” each other?

A man and a woman are currently in critical condition at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital following a serious stabbing incident that happened on Zericote Street in Belize City early yesterday morning.

Although there is little information on what led to the occurrence, police believe that it might have been a case of domestic violence, because the victims are an estranged couple who used to live together until about a year ago.

What is known at this time is that Erwin Smith, 50, a resident of Zericote Street, and Jennifer Salam, 33, of a Newtown Barracks address, were both discovered at Smith’s residence early yesterday, Wednesday morning, severely hemorrhaging from multiple knife wounds.

In light of the nature of the circumstances, the Domestic Violence Unit of the Belize Police Department has taken charge of the investigation and yesterday, Sergeant Martha Rhys, the Officer in Charge of the Domestic Violence Unit in Belize City, told us what police know so far.

She said, “Police got information at about 6:00 this morning that there was a stabbing incident at #24 Zericote Street. Upon arrival, they met a female outside on the ground with an injury to the left side of her chest, below the breast area.

“Further checks inside the house led to the discovery of a man whose name we learned to be Erwin Smith, with 4 injuries – 2 to the chest area, one to the abdomen and one to the rib cage.

“Because of the condition the persons were in, they were immediately transported to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. The investigation right now is ongoing, as we are unable to have a word with them because of their condition. They are presently in the operating theatre and we’re investigating the matter.”

Rhys stated that a knife – which could possibly be the weapon used – was found inside Smith’s house and so far, they have been able to ascertain that it could have been a case of domestic violence.

Today, Amandala went looking for answers and although we did not find anyone at the address, we managed to speak with a neighbor, who wished to have his name withheld.

He explained that early yesterday morning, he was awakened by a commotion and the sound of a woman’s voice screaming; he looked outside after a while and saw both Smith and Salam being carried out of Smith’s yard by police, drenched in blood.

The neighbor said that he is not certain why the stabbing took place and did not see what transpired yesterday morning in Smith’s yard; however, he mentioned that the estranged couple has a history of contentious confrontations from time to time.

According to Sergeant Rhys, Smith placed a 911 call to police on Monday and stated that he had received a text message that Jennifer Salam had been kidnapped.

However, we understand that police later contacted Salam, who said that everything was okay with her.

Rhys told us that after the 911 call had been made, police concluded that it was simply a malicious act and are therefore not trying to trace the purported message or determine who made the false report.

Smith and Salam reportedly have three children together, a girl, in her teens, and two younger boys. They were not at the house when the incident occurred.

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