ROARING CREEK, Cayo District, Thurs. May 28, 2015–The search for a missing person, Edelberto Madrid, 28, a tattoo artist of the Another World area of Roaring Creek, came to an end at about 11:00 Tuesday morning when his torso was found floating in the Belize River about 200 yards from the Agripino Cawich Bridge, in the Young Bank area of Camalote, in the Cayo District – and about 20 feet from the water’s edge. A boat was used to recover the torso, which was wrapped in a plastic bag.
A member of the search party who found Madrid, a close associate of Russell Hyde, a businessman of Camalote, told Amandala that Madrid’s head was missing, and both legs had been cut off below the knees. His arms were cut off below the elbows, and he had been disemboweled; his internal organs were missing and also his private parts had been cut off.
Friends and family members who were looking for him were stunned, speechless by Madrid’s horrible death.
His devastated mother, Marina Bejerano, told Amandala that the body was already soft and decomposing, and police asked her for a door on which to put him, because they were having difficulty handling the remains. She said that Madrid had many tattoos on his body, one of which was “Leoni,” which is the name of his younger sister. They saw the tattoo on his chest, and that was how he was identified, she said.
The corpse was taken to an area for an onsite autopsy, after which it was buried at the Roaring Creek Village Cemetery, by his family and friends, at about 10:00 that Tuesday night.
Madrid’s girlfriend, Julie Fernandez, who lived with him, went to Belmopan police Tuesday morning, , and reported that on Sunday morning, she and Madrid were at a Chinese store in Roaring Creek, when he told her that he was going to see his sister, and would return shortly and he walked out of the store. Since then, she had not seen or heard from him.
Throughout that Sunday, she was trying to contact him through phone calls and text messages to his phone, but to no avail.
Fernandez became worried when Madrid did not return home on Monday morning, and she alerted his friends and relatives, and they began an initial search for him.
Amandala was told that friends and relatives formed a search party and began to search the Camalote area behind the burial ground, and in the general area. They had received information that there was a body in the Camalote area, but they found nothing.
On Tuesday, they began the search again, in the Young Bank area, and searched along the river toward the Agripino Cawich Bridge, where the dismembered and decapitated torso was found.
Bejerano, Madrid’s devastated mother said that her birthday was on Monday, and this was a devastating birthday gift.
Bejerano said that police had not joined the search for her son, and that seven persons who had been in the search group were detained, and also the truck that was being used, was held by police, but they were later released.
On Wednesday, Bejerano said, a man went to them and told them that her son’s feet had been found in a shallow grave in the Camalote area, and his uncle made a small coffin-like box in which to bury the feet. When they went to the area to recover the feet, instead of Madrid’s feet, they were shocked to find another dismembered body in a shallow grave. The head that was with the torso in the shallow grave was that of Steve Hyde, a cousin and employee of Russell Hyde, and a friend of Madrid.
Bejerano said that she is a lay minister in her church, and will leave everything to God. She said that Madrid had been told that he would be killed, and had received threats that his two nephews would also be killed.
Madrid is survived by 5 brothers and 5 sisters. He was also the father of a 5-year old girl.
Bejerano said that Madrid was harassed constantly by police, causing him to leave his job because of his frequent absences when he was detained by police. He then earned his living by helping his wife cook food and sell to workers on construction sites and other areas.
Madrid’s family said that they give thanks to God for the closure, but said that the one who killed him will carry the sin for killing him.
So far, there have been no arrests in connection with the death, and the motive for the murder is not yet known.
Madrid, however, was known to police. In January 2014, he was busted with a gun. When police raided a house in Ladyville where he was staying, Madrid ran, and police chased and captured him. He was searched and police found a gun that was loaded with 17 rounds in his pocket. He was arrested and charged with gun and ammunition offences.