HATTIEVILLE, Belize District, Tues. Mar. 8, 2017–Two friends and delivery men, Albert “Ras Taka” Wade, 27, and Godwin “Paps” Panting, 23, were found shot dead on a feeder road between Miles 12 and 13 of the George Price Highway on Saturday, March 5, at around 2 p.m.
Wade was shot five times, once in the back of the head, once in the right triceps, once in the right femur, once in the right side of the abdomen, and once in the left side of the back. Panting was shot three times, the most fatal being a shot in the left side of the face, which exited through the back of the head.
Their bodies were discovered by a couple who were fishing in the area. Police were called; they processed the crime scene then transported the bodies to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH), where they were certified dead at 4:50 p.m.
It is believed that the men were lured to their deaths in a drug transaction turned deadly. According to Wade’s family, no drugs were found on the scene, and so they do not agree that he was involved in an illicit transaction.
Wade’s sister told the media that they were to meet up to go to watch the La Ruta Maya boat race in Double Head Cabbage early Saturday morning. However, Wade never answered her calls and that was when she knew that something was wrong. Wade was last seen by his girlfriend on Saturday morning.
Wade had worked at Bowen and Bowen Limited and previously as a delivery man for Chon Saan Palace in Belize City.
Panting also worked as a delivery man. According to his family, since 2014 he had worked for Peppers Pizza in Belize City. However, he did not show up for work on Saturday morning. His family further told the media that he did not spend Friday night at home and the last time he was seen was at a family gathering last Monday.
While the Wade and Panting families struggle for answers, investigators are also struggling for clues, because neither man was known to police.
Wade’s vehicle was later found on Albert Street in Belize City. He leaves behind 9 children.
Panting’s motorcycle was found about 12 feet away from his body. He leaves behind 2 children.