Headline — 21 February 2018 — by Rowland A. Parks
Murder-suicide on Rose Lane

BELIZE CITY, Mon. Feb. 19, 2018– A crowd of onlookers gathered on the street in front of #5 Rose Lane on Saturday evening sometime after 5 p.m. A police crime scene tape cordoned off the area from the curious spectators, as the police and crime scene technicians were about to get underway inside.

There were whispers in the crowd that a man and his wife were inside the house. They were dead. A neighbor told Amandala that she had heard a loud bang that sounded like a gunshot, and that was followed by another loud bang, several minutes later. Family members became suspicious when they made several calls to the couple’s phone, but got no answer.

The apartment was locked from the inside and police had to force open the door. When police finally gained entry, the grim scene of two dead bodies greeted them. When they gained entrance into one of the rooms, they observed the motionless body of a female lying face-up on a bed and on the floor there was the motionless body of a man. He, too, was lying face-up. Both of them had apparent gunshot wounds to the temple.

Police said that they found two expended shells in the room and they also discovered some ammunition on the bed and in a magazine of Emmanuel’s licensed 9mm handgun.

In their press release this morning, police explained the tragic discoveries inside #5 Rose Lane.

The police report said that on February 17, about 5:55 p.m., “police responded to a report at No. 5 Rose Lane and upon entering a bedroom at the residence, they discovered the motionless body of Hermelinda Pinks-Emmanuel, a 46-year-old supervisor with a single gunshot wound in the left side of her head that exited the right side.

“Officers also discovered the motionless body of Jason Emmanuel, a 43-year-old tax collector with a single gunshot wound in the right side of the head that exited the left side, and a 9mm pistol was seen next to him…”

Police transported both bodies to the Karl Heusner Memorial Morgue, where a post-mortem exam was performed today, Monday.

Police also said that the blood found at the scene indicated that “it [the shooting] had happened at least 12 hours before the body was discovered.”

Superintendent of Police (ASP) Alejandro Cowo, officer commanding CIB Belize City, told the media in a press conference this morning that upon investigation, no report of domestic abuse at any time had been made by either husband or wife, which was confirmed by Hermelinda’s younger brother, Patrick Meighan.

Jason Emmanuel was a civil servant and first class clerk at the General Sales Tax (GST) office.

This morning, when Amandala visited the GST office, located in the Charles Bartlett Hyde Building, the staff appeared dejected, as some were preparing to light two candles and had laid out two vases of flowers and a photograph in memory of their fallen co-worker.

Prior to being transferred to the GST office, Jason Emmanuel worked at the Audit Department, the Elections and Boundaries Department and the Accountant General Department. He began working at the GST office in 2012 and last June he received his long service certificate for his 25 years of work in the civil service.

GST Commissioner Betty Ann Jones told Amandala that Emmanuel was a very dedicated worker. “I find him to have been very reliable, dedicated and conscientious,” Jones said.

Jones added, “He had a very good working relationship with the staff. We would like to portray the kind of person that he was here, not all the negative that people are talking out there and in social media. He was a very jovial person and we will miss him terribly.”

While his co-workers and supervisors at the GST office have seen the efficient civil servant, there was a side of Emmanuel to which they had not been exposed.

Amandala attempted to speak to someone from the Belize Coast Guard about Hermelinda Pinks-Emmanuel, who worked there as a supervisor of the civilian staff, but we were told that only the Deputy Commandant of the Coast Guard, Elton Bennett, could make an official comment, and he was not in office today. Attempts to reach Bennett on his cell phone were futile.

Amandala, however, managed to speak to Patrick Meighan, a younger brother of Pinks-Emmanuel, this afternoon.

Meighan told us that his sister had been married to Emmanuel since April 17, 2010. The couple had no children together; however, Emmanuel had a son from a previous relationship, but Meighan was unsure of his age.

We asked Meighan if his sister and Emmanuel had any kind of breakup or separation during their marriage.

Meighan replied that they had been separated for several months, but then they reunited.

When asked by Amandala if he had any idea what could have triggered this outrageous act, Meighan replied, “Jealousy and insecurity.”

Meighan said that last week there was an incident involving his sister and Emmanuel and he, Emmanuel, was taken into police custody for one night, because he attempted to pull his firearm on her.

Police took away his firearm and it was just returned to him on Friday.

Meighan said his sister was always a caring, loving person who was dedicated to her job and her family.

According to Channel 5 News, Emmanuel has had “a series of unfortunate incidents in his life.” He lost his mother to suicide and a sister to murder/suicide, and several years ago, he lost a brother to a hit-and-run accident, said the newscast tonight.

Emmanuel will be laid to rest in Crooked Tree after funeral services in Belize City.

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