The victim, who was scantily clad, had just collected “back-pay”
As dawn broke this past Saturday, June 28, the gruesome discovery of a body was made in a parking lot situated opposite the Raymond Parks Homeless Shelter on Cemetery Road in Belize City’s south side.
Although the circumstances surrounding the victim’s demise remain shrouded in mystery, Amandala understands that the laborer had just collected some “back-pay” from his employer and had been socializing with some friends in the area when he met his untimely death.
Belize City police reported that they visited the location at about 5:55 a.m. on Saturday and saw the body of Samuel Steven Miguel, 22, dressed only in a pair of blue checkered boxers, with what appeared to be a huge, deep wound to the head and an apparent stab wound in the right side of the face.
Police say that a bloody rock was found beside the body.
Today, when the media spoke with Sergeant Jorge Villanueva of the Crimes Investigation Branch (CIB) of Precinct 1 in Belize City, he told us that police have a solid lead in the case and that two persons are currently in police custody in relation to the matter.
Villanueva said, however, that since the investigation is still ongoing, police don’t want to speculate on any motive as yet, but they believe that if the suspects who are in custody cooperate, an arrest will be made soon.
Although we understand that Miguel is a relative of Kirk Smith, Jr., who succumbed to his injuries after being shot during a graduation party which was being held at the Brown Sugar Marketplace in Belize City earlier this month, Villanueva stated he could not say whether the incidents are related.
Miguel was a part of the Youth Apprenticeship Program in Belize City, and coordinator Dianne Finnegan told us that Miguel was a quiet person who was very committed to his work: he went to work every single day, and found pleasure in his career choice, which was the electrical field.
She informed us that he was doing an apprenticeship at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) and he had showed no signs that he was facing challenges or having difficulties, and that he had no complaints and was very respectful and quiet.
Finnegan explained that he had been working at the KHMH since May when the program began, but had not initially had his Social Security card in order to receive his weekly stipend, so he was informed that he would get his back-pay on Friday, when his Social Security card was ready.
She described the assault against him which caused his death as cruel, inhumane and cowardly, saying, “I have no idea as to the reason that contributed to the loss of such a productive individual that was aspiring for greatness.”
Finnegan also mentioned that she often spoke to the students of the program about being cautious of friends, and told us that Miguel’s mother was devastated by the news, especially because he was her only son, and she was glad that he was making a positive transition in life.
The aim of the Youth Apprenticeship Program is to take vulnerable youth from off the streets; however, the coordinator said that Miguel’s death is the third such loss within the program.
“It’s not our purpose to bury them, but rather, we are here for their accomplishment. It’s devastating to lose any of the youth, so my main message every Friday is for them to be safe about the way they socialize. Right now, the youths are vulnerable based on what is happening in our society, and it’s unfortunate that it reaches those who don’t deserve it, because he just wanted some good in his life.”
According to Finnegan, other members of the program are saddened by the loss and expressed their sympathies to the family.