Death of Winnipeg man in Belize under investigation
Officers launched an investigation into the death of a Winnipeg man in Belize, on the coast of northern Central America, earlier in the week.
Winnipegger James Searles, 59, was found dead in a river in Belize.
Superintendent Dinsdale Thompson of St. Ignacio Police said the newlywed had just arrived in Belize to reunite with his wife, Nicole Warner.
The Canadians spent Saturday, Nov. 22, night together in St. Ignacio after Warner picked up Searles at the airport.
They shared some drinks before going to sleep that night at Warner’s home in Bullet Tree, a village just outside of St. Ignacio.
“They stopped at a location got some beers. When they got to St. Ignacio town, they stopped at another store and got a quantity of rum, which they went to their home and they consumed, ” said Spt. Thompson.
Supt. Thompson said around 3 a.m., Warner noticed her husband wasn’t in bed and after searching the house, she reported him missing to police.
Police found his body the next day at 4 p.m. in the Mopan River, which is roughly 25 metres from the home.
“He was found with only what appears to be a sweater on. No underwear. No trousers, ” said Supt. Thompson.
Police have now determined the cause of death.
“We’ve concluded that he fell into the water on his own and drowned,” says Supt. Thompson.
He said the only mark on his body was a shoulder abrasion which seems to be consistent with falling into the river.
Supt. Thompson said the investigation is not complete and they are still trying to determine how this could have happened.
“We are not ruling out anything at this moment, ” said Supt. Thompson.
Police said there was no forced entry in the home and nothing appears to be missing.
Family of James Searles said they are working with police to bring his body home to Winnipeg.