Crime General — 19 August 2014 — by Kareem Clarke
Murder investigation launched into fatal assault

BELIZE CITY—Two individuals are currently in police custody as law enforcement officers try to piece together the events that led up to the death of Oscar Richard Rubio, 38, whose initial assault was apparently overlooked by the policemen who took an intoxicated Rubio and his colleague to the hospital after they were both found lying unconscious inside the BTL Constitution Park at around 10:00 p.m. on Wednesday, July 30, 2014.

Since then, Rubio had been admitted to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) in a critical condition and eventually lapsed into a coma until yesterday, August 14, when he died at approximately 6:45 p.m.

According to the investigating officer, Sergeant Isaiah Sanchez, who is attached to the Crimes Investigation Branch (CIB) of Belize City Police Precinct 1, Rubio – who lived on Antelope Street Extension but spent his leisure time in the Conch Shell Bay area off Vernon Street in Belize City – and his companion were involved in a fight with another man who allegedly struck both men across the head and caused the injury which later led to Rubio’s demise.

Sanchez said, “Police responded to the Constitution Park located on Cemetery Road in Belize City where they saw two men, highly under the influence of alcohol, bleeding from the head. The police escorted them to the KHMH for medical attention – one of the men was Oscar Richard Rubio, and the other person was identified as Danri Darum, a 57-year-old Belizean national. I understand from the officers in question that when they reached at the hospital, there was no kind of conversation [between them and Rubio], and actually, after he got medical attention, he was taken to the ICU [Intensive Care Unit], where he remained until he succumbed to his injury.”

“So far, police have concluded that Rubio was in [the park] in the Conch Shell Bay area where he [and Darum] was approached by a man who attacked them and inflicted their head injuries. We have two persons in custody pending investigation. Yesterday, August 14, the forensic specialist conducted a post-mortem on the body of Oscar Richard Rubio and certified that the cause of death was that of cerebral edema due to head trauma. Since the cause of death is an unnatural case, we are investigating it as a case of murder”, Sanchez explained.

When the battered, inebriated men were initially carted off to the hospital by the police mobile unit after the incident, the officers did not determine the cause of their wounds since they (Rubio and his friend) were not able to “express themselves” at the time due to their state of partial unconsciousness; however, no follow-up investigation seemed to have been conducted until investigators learned of Rubio’s death yesterday.

That critical time lapse has now become a major setback in the police’s quest to find his killer.

“I must say that this is a challenging investigation – it’s [because of] the timing [that] it happened – that has a crucial emphasis on it”, Sanchez conceded, as he told the media that they are doing their best to “close in” on the investigations, notwithstanding the limited information that they have been able to gather in relation to the bludgeoning death of Rubio.

Anyone who can assist with information leading to the arrest of Rubio’s alleged murderer is asked to call the 922-TIPS hotline.

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