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Police defend response in Philip Palma investigation

Posted: Tuesday, September 20, 2022. 6:03 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: Belize Police Department chief of communications, Assistant Superintendent of Police Fitzroy Yearwood, today said that after failing to find the body of Philip Palma themselves on the island off the coast where it was ultimately recovered on Saturday, they took some time to prepare to process the scene and collect any evidence that might lead them to the truth of what happened to him.

Since his reported disappearance last Wednesday, according to ASP Yearwood, police conducted searches along the John Smith Link Road and at the island where the body was later found, but it was recovered by his family members and others. Police assembled the Scenes of Crime personnel and others to process the scene and ASP Yearwood said he himself was in communication with family members throughout the operation.

“I can tell you that when I was contacted on Saturday, there was a level of difficulty to get Scenes of Crime ready to go on that little, remote island. We’re not blaming anyone – we had to make sure we had all parties together. This is not an area that is easily accessible and at the same time we needed to gather evidence that had been left behind by his assailants; so we did take a little time to prepare…” he explained.

The body was discovered in a shallow grave, indicative of potential foul play or homicide, but a post-mortem examination will determine the actual cause of death. ASP Yearwood said police are following all leads provided by the family and that the examination will help determine which of those leads can be more actively pursued. Investigations continue.

 

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