General — 25 November 2014 — by Kareem Clarke
Missing Canadian national, 59, found floating in Mopan

BULLET TREE–The lifeless body of a Canadian national who had been reported missing since this past Saturday, November 22, was retrieved from the Mopan River yesterday, Sunday, wearing only a black jacket, San Ignacio police reported today.

According to police, Canadian accountant Nicole Warner, 45, a naturalized Belizean, told them that at about 4:00 p.m. last Friday, November 21, she went to pick up her husband, Canadian national James Garfield Searles, 59, from the Philip Goldson International Airport in Ladyville, after which they headed to San Ignacio Town but stopped to have a few drinks on the way.

Warner said that when they reached their destination, she fell asleep with her husband at her side, but when she woke up at around 3:00 a.m. the next morning, she realized that Searles was missing.

After she filed a missing person’s report to authorities, a search was conducted for Searles – who is described as being a bald, medium-built Caucasian, about 6 feet in height and about 210 lbs in weight, with a round, bulging abdomen, sharp nose, oval face, and blue eyes – which sadly ended with the discovery of his body almost 24 hours later.

Police said that on Sunday, November 23, at approximately 4:00 p.m., Searles’ corpse was found floating face down in the Mopan River, about 200 yards from the residence of his wife, Nicole Warner, in Bullet Tree.

The body of the victim, who was only clad in a black jacket at the time, had no signs of physical injury, and was transported to the San Ignacio Community Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 5:05 p.m. that same day.

Searles’ body is now awaiting a post-mortem exam so that investigators can hopefully ascertain what led to his death.

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