Posted: Saturday, February 10, 2018. 9:03 am CST.
By BBN Staff: Police have arrested and charged two men for the brutal murder of government employee Israel Perez; one of them who has been a friend to Perez since childhood.
On Thursday, police arraigned 33-year-old Cruz Castillo, and 22-year-old Stanley Herrera Jr for Perez’s murder, after finding Castillo with Perez’s vehicle, jewelry and even his shoes. Police found even more evidence at Castillo’s Crooked Tree home, including a television set, a power washer, believed to be used in an attempt to clean up evidence of the murder, and two shovels believed to be those used to bury Perez’s body.
Perez’s family told several media houses that both men knew each other growing up in King’s children Home in Belmopan, and that Castillo was like a brother to Perez. Both men were remanded to the Belize Central Prison. Perez was last seen alive on January 27. Family members reported Perez missing on February 1 after he did not show up for work or check in with his relatives.
His mutilated body was found, badly decomposed in a shallow grave in the Harmonyville community along the George Price Highway on February 6, with his hands bound and a plastic bag over his head. Police arrested Castillo two days later when they found him driving around in Perez’s vehicle.
Initially, police charged Castillo with handling stolen goods, while they searched for more evidence to be able to add on the murder charge. Officers say they still do not have a motive for this gruesome murder.
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