COROZAL–A Salvadoran national who stands accused of the horrific double murder of his ex-girlfriend and her new boyfriend was arraigned and remanded to the Belize Central Prison today.
At around 11:00 a.m., Corozal police marched Jose Antonio Santos, 67, to the courtroom of Magistrate Hurl Hamilton at the Corozal Magistrate’s Court, where he was arraigned for two counts of murder in connection with the deaths of Heidi Teresita Chable, 22, and Fernando Rivas, 49, a Salvadoran cane cutter, who were both chopped to death in at a farmhouse in Paraiso, Corozal District, in what is believed to be a cruel crime of passion.
In court today, no plea was taken, since the matter is scheduled to be heard before the Supreme Court.
Santos was remanded to prison until March 24, 2015 when he is due to reappear in court.
Last Sunday, December 14, at around 6:00 a.m., screams were heard coming from the direction of the farmhouse, which is located about 3/4 mile northeast of Paraiso, and when concerned neighbors went to check, they discovered the lifeless body of Chable, initially identified as Heidi Atherly, a mother of one, lying face-up on the ground beside some plantain trees, with multiple cut wounds to the head, neck and upper limbs.
A further search inside the farmhouse led to the discovery of a similarly mutilated body, that of Rivas, a Salvadoran farmer who was reportedly engaged in a brief relationship with Chable — who was described as being mentally challenged – at the time when they were savagely hacked to death by Santos.
Autopsies which were conducted on their bodies revealed that Rivas died of exsanguinations (excessive bleeding) due to multiple chop wounds to the head, neck, face, chest and limbs, while Chable’s death was also caused by exsanguinations due to chop wounds to the head, neck, face and forearm. The couple thus bled to death in what will be remembered as one of the bloodiest and most shocking killings in recent history in that area.