Latest — 12 July 2017 — by Albert J. Ciego
San Pedranos demand justice for death of girl, 13, who died from physical and sexual abuse

SAN PEDRO, Ambergris Caye, Mon. July 10, 2017–David and Anke Dohme, the adoptive parents of Faye Lin Cannon, 13, who was found dead on her bed in her room last Monday in San Pedro, were charged with drug possession of valium, a prescription drug for which he had no prescription, in the San Pedro Magistrate’s Court this afternoon.

David pleaded guilty and was fined $185 plus $5 cost of court. Charges were withdrawn from Anke because her husband pleaded guilty.

Her adoptive parents have been detained pending investigation into her death

Police said that as the couple were released by the court, they were detained for further investigation into Cannon’s death, which police have ruled as murder.

A post-mortem conducted on the body of the teenager certified that her death was the result of compression on the chest, which caused internal hemorrhage. Three of her ribs were fractured; and one of them punctured her heart. There was evidence of sexual abuse, and other forms of physical abuse as well.

The girl’s adoptive mother had told police that the teenager was mentally challenged. She said that the girl would hit herself and slam her body against a wall, and that for the past three weeks, she had refused to eat, or come out of her room.

Residents of San Pedro refute this claim. They said that the girl was smart, that she was a straight A student in her school.

They insist that the Dohmes were abusive parents. The children were often seen outside Rubimoon (their mother’s store), standing in the sun, and in all kinds of weather, for long hours. They were not allowed to speak to anyone.

According to information received by Amandala, Faye Lin had three sisters — all adopted by the couple from different families in China. Faye Lin was the second oldest.

Concerned citizens of San Pedro said that from three years ago, they had reported the adoptive parents of Faye Lin and her three sisters to the police, to Human Services Department, and to the American Embassy (the Dohmes are American citizens), but nothing was done to help the children. The death of the girl could have been avoided, they believe.

About 100 residents staged a peaceful demonstration in front of the San Pedro Police Station on Friday, but police intervened because they were demonstrating without a permit.

On Saturday, however, another peaceful demonstration was held in San Pedro, this time with a permit. A large crowd convened at the Central Park, demanding that the police take action against the parents.

A prayer vigil was held yesterday, Sunday. San Pedranos plan to protest again tomorrow. They say they have not yet gotten police approval. They say they will be meeting this evening to plan their next course of action if their request to protest is not granted.

Golda Swift, one of the protest organizers, told us this afternoon that she saw how the children were being abused, and that they reported the abuse of the children to the Social Welfare Office. She said that they tried very hard to help the children, but the authorities did not respond. Swift said that the residents are grieving the horrible death of the teenager.

Cannon’s three sisters have been taken into protective custody and are at a home in Belmopan. It is also believed that two of the little girls may have been sexually abused, and police are also looking into this allegation.

Another couple who lived in the same apartment in which the Dohmes reside said that the children were beaten, and that they cried nearly every night, throughout the night.

Superintendent Henry Jemmott, Commander of San Pedro police, said that they will do all they can to solve the case. He said police will try to find physical evidence to support the autopsy report that the child was physically and sexually abused.

Police said that they may have sufficient evidence to charge the couple for causing Faye Lin’s death, but the Department’s legal expert has advised them to gather more statements before bringing charges.

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