Headline — 31 May 2013 — by Albert J. Ciego

Sandhill resident’s decomposed body found floating in Belize River

The battered corpse of Ellis Dawson, 37, of Sandhill, was retrieved from the Belize River in the Henderson Bank area of Burrell Boom Village at about 9: 00 a.m. on Tuesday, May 28.

Dawson had been stabbed as many as 20 times, and his body thrown into the river. When police pulled the body out of the water, it was missing an arm and a leg.

The badly decomposed body was taken to a deserted area on the Hattieville-Boom Road, where Doctor Mario Estradabran conducted an onsite autopsy. At its conclusion, Estradabran certified that Dawson’s death was caused by exsanguinations due to multiple stab wounds to the body from a sharp instrument.

Dawson was buried immediately after the post-mortem at the site of the autopsy.

A man told police that about 7:40 on Tuesday morning, he was travelling in his boat on the Belize River in Burrell Boom when he saw the body floating.

Police retrieved the body from an area two miles north of Burrell Boom Village, tied it to a boat, and brought it to the riverbank. From there, the body was carried to an area where the autopsy was carried out.

Police say they went to retrieve the body from the Old Belize River at about 8:40 a.m. Tuesday, and they found a male corpse, lying face-down in the water, wearing only a red, green and yellow striped polo shirt.

When police checked the body, which was in an advanced state of decomposition, they found that the left leg and left arm up to the elbow were missing, probably as the result of an attack by crocodiles. The body had the word “Rude Boy” tattooed on the left side of the chest, and “Ghetto Boy” on the left shoulder.

The word “Slow Down,” written in Old English, was tattooed on the right foot. Several cut wounds were visible on the right foot, right hand and on the back of the body.

The body was later identified as that of Ellis Emmanuel Dawson, 37, of New Site Area, Sandhill.

David Roland, Jr, his friend who identified him, said that it was at first difficult to determine that the corpse was Dawson, because the whole body was decomposed, and his left hand, on which the word “Compe” was tattooed, was missing. But he knows Ellis had a finger missing from his right hand, and when he saw the right hand, and saw that the finger was missing, he knew the body was that of his friend.

Dawson’s family said that he was last seen on Friday night when he went out and did not return. He was reported missing on Saturday.

After the missing person’s report was made, police began an initial search, but did not find him.

His sister said that she saw him on Friday, May 24, and he was jovial; he was not drinking at that time. She became concerned, however, when on Sunday morning, he did not come home.

She said that usually when he went out, even if he was drunk, he would come home first thing in the morning and take a shower.

When he did not go to the house on Sunday, they realized that something was wrong.

Dawson’s friends said that they last saw him on Friday, and are not sure where he went. They said that he was not a violent person, so they don’t know why he was killed in such a cruel manner and thrown into the river.

A councilor in the village urges anyone who has information that can help the police solve this case to cooperate fully and come forward with the information needed. He said that Ellis was a “good guy” from the village, and they want to find out who killed him, and why.

Tonight at press time, why Dawson was murdered, and by whom, remains a mystery.

Dawn Olivera, his sister, told Amandala this evening that his body was exhumed from the deserted place on the Boom Hattieville Road where he was hurriedly buried, and relocated to the Sandhill Village Cemetery, where he was given a proper and decent burial.

She said that a crowd of mourners and sympathizers attended the burial and that the family has now gotten some closure.

Ellis Dawson is survived by his mother, his stepfather, 5 sisters, 2 brothers, also a host of relatives and friends.

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