Canadian man found murdered in Guatemala Print E-mail
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Thursday, 09 January 2014 00:00

brian townsend.jpg - 46.28 KbThe body 64 year-old Canadian Retiree Brian Townsend, who went missing on Christmas Day, was recovered last week from Guatemala, and his remains have been cremated. It is the conclusion of the worst possible outcome for his family both in Belize and in Canada.

Townsend lived in Valley of Peace Village in the Cayo District for 9 years where he did missionary work for the residents. He was beloved by the village because he gave of himself freely to help them during his time there. One of the most significant achievements he made for Valley of Peace was when he led the construction of the Seventh Day Adventist College, which is among the many projects he saw completed in the village.

 On Christmas Eve, he called his cook and asked her to come in early to cook the Christmas dinner. When she reported to work, she couldn’t locate him, and neither could she reach him on his cell phone. She reported him missing to the police, who responded and found signs of a struggle outside of his house. Missing along with him was a pick up truck, and the officers found a trail of blood which suggested to them that he was either killed or knocked unconscious and dragged to where it was parked. Investigators believe that he was then placed in the vehicle, and his assailants then drove off with it.

 Authorities in Cayo started a district-wide search for him, and on New Year’s Eve, they received information that a body matching Townsend’s description was discovered in the village of Arenal on December 27. It is a well-known location which sits in both Belize and Guatemala, and because he was found on the Guatemalan side, he was taken to Melchor de Menchos, where he remained unidentified.

 Brian Townsend’s son, Kory, flew from Canada to Belize to witness the search of his dad, and with the help of the Canadian Embassy, he was able to get the body confirmed as Brian. He made arrangements for it to be transferred to Belize, where it was cremated, and the Valley of Peace village held memorial services in his honor.

 Police believe that Townsend’s assailant may still be in Guatemala; a vehicle matching the description of his missing truck was seen passing through the area hours before the body was found.

Last Updated on Thursday, 09 January 2014 15:34