Headline — 06 May 2017 — by Albert J. Ciego
Female corpse found inside burnt vehicle

HATTIEVILLE, Belize District, Thurs. May 4, 2017–At about 2:30 Tuesday morning, police made a horrendous discovery after putting out a fire that totally destroyed a KIA Sportage belonging to Pamela Lino, a teacher of the Belmopan Baptist School. Police found the charred corpse of a female person on the back seat.

It is suspected that the remains belong to the well-liked Information Technology teacher of Belmopan Baptist High School, who, reports indicate, had been missing since Sunday, but no missing person report to police had been made for her before the remains were found on Tuesday.

To date, 4 days later, her whereabouts remain unknown. The principal of Belmopan Baptist High School, Jerry Roberts, said that it was out of character for Pamela Lino to not be present for classes, because she was a committed teacher. She had not attended school on Tuesday and Wednesday despite the fact that police, and her friends and relatives, were trying to contact her.

Many, however, believe that the charred corpse in her vehicle is that of Lino, but that has not yet been confirmed by police.

Photo: News 5

Police, who were manning a vehicle checkpoint (VCP) in front of the Hattieville Police Station at Mile 15 on the George Price Highway at about 2:00 Tuesday morning, chased a KIA Sportage vehicle that was traveling from Belmopan towards Belize City.

The driver, however, when he saw police, made a U-turn and sped back towards the direction of Belmopan.

Police say that they pursued the vehicle and at Mile 21, the vehicle suffered a blowout, and ran off the road. It slammed into the fence of the National Youth Cadet Service Corp compound at the junction of Gracie Rock Road with the George Price Highway.

The KIA then erupted into flames and began to burn furiously, but the driver was able to get out and escape into the bushes. It is not known at this time if he had accomplices in the vehicle.

The fire was put out, and that was when police found the body in the back seat. They strongly believe that the person was killed elsewhere and that the driver was trying to dispose of the corpse.

The remains were handed over to the Forensic Unit so that they could try to establish the identity of the corpse.

Lino lived on Oriole Avenue, Belmopan, but also has a house in Hillview, Santa Elena, Cayo District, where she went on weekends. She was last seen by her neighbors on Sunday, and her family has become very worried. Her friends believe that Pamela Lino was killed in her house in Santa Elena.

Yesterday, Wednesday, Doctor Royden Ken and his team of forensic investigators conducted a post-mortem examination on the charred human remains, but at its conclusion, the cause of death was undetermined.

They were also not able to identify the corpse, except to say that it was a female.

Roberts told the media yesterday that counselors from the Ministry of Education went to the school to provide counseling to students and the staff, who are shocked, grief-stricken, and confused.

Reports to us are that Lino had bought the house in Hillview, but since then, she had been facing problems with a second party who reportedly wanted to take away the house, but she refused to leave.

A friend of Lino told us that they believe that the house in Hillview is connected to her murder.

Lino had been a teacher of the school since 2006. Her colleagues said that she was very vocal and outspoken. This was noted in November of 2012 when the school was going through some difficulties after the then principal was fired. His sudden departure resulted in some issues that had been brewing before the departure, some of which included the fact that the jobs of some of the teachers were advertised as vacancies to be filled while they were still on staff.

Pamela Lino, who has been teaching Principles of Business, was transferred to be a teacher of Integrated Science, which was a field that she had not taught in before. She was removed from her post without justification, but held her ground.

Although she was not sent back to Principles of Business, she was made to teach Literature and Focus Reading.

Since she was unhappy, she and her fellow teachers conducted a go-slow at school, whereby the teachers went to school in the morning, but sat in the classroom and did not teach for the day. This problem and other issues plaguing the teachers were later addressed.

Besides the go-slow, they also made demands on the school management, which were (1) they wanted the principal removed, because she was not able to carry out her responsibilities; (2) they wanted the Board of Management members to be selected in a more democratic manner; and (3) the vice principal should be selected from among the staff so that they could see more development in the school.

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