Over the weekend, a burnt female body was found at the dump site 4 miles outside of Belmopan. Yesterday, the female's family positively identified her as 18 year old Kerona Ara. They confirmed it was her based on the tattoos on her body, which was otherwise burnt beyond recognition. Now, while they struggle with the grief from the loss of this teenager's life, Ara's family and friends are doing their best to find out exactly what happened and why. Today in Blackman Eddy, we spoke to her mother, Sherlene Mai, about what they have pieced together so far…
Sherlene Mai - Mother of Deceased
"First she was here with me Saturday, we mi di hang out and we mi di laugh and talk and think like that and then she say ma I going up to my niece to work, who is Stephanie, she usually go work in Santa Elena. And then I call her phone but she never answer then she say ma I will lef the charger with you because you never had no charger so my mind the run on ih phone mussi dead, that's why ih no di answer her phone. And then my niece number deh inna her phone, so I never had her number and then Saturday I the call to see if she reach but she no answer so I say okay well when she usually tell me ma, I'm going by Stephanie, I know da there she is for true and she never lie to me and thing like that; so I never mi di the bother about it and thing like that. So Sunday my son wake up and my son tell me ma, he said I get a bad dream, I say babe tell me da what. He said I dream my pa come to me and di tell me say how my sister dead and they find her in a dump spot. I tell ah well that there news you better no try bring around me and no come spoil my day, I tell him that, I no think that happen. I was trying to simmer him down because he the get hype up and I di tell he Travis, that could never happen. He said ma I the feel it, my pa come to me and say and my pa no wa tell me lie because their pa dead couple years ago. And then when like when something wa happen, some one of us in here in the family would get it from he, he would come to we and then like I say Travis please babe no tell me that right now, I tell ah because I no want that my daughter dead. And then like it no the register in my head so I say Monday now I will get up and I will go to Stephanie go find out if my daughter reach there for true but when I hear the police say they find a body on it and thing like that, I still yet the say that can't be my- like I want move but I can't move because I the say that can't be my daughter, my daughter no lie to me, if she said she was going to Stephanie and my mind the base on yes she deh by Stephanie house. Da when my neighbour come and tell me, ma Sherls you hear what happen, I tell ah what happen- he said they the beg make people to go in and identify this body. I say you know what, when people want and when people the say something, it all times turn out to be true, let me get ready and go da the station go see if da my daughter and low and behold when I reach da Roaring Creek Police station, the police pull up the first tattoo, I say Jesus Christ da she and then from they say we going by the morgue and when we reach at the morgue my daughter had her hands up and the tattoo deh right here on the skin, right in here, big name there. And when they turn ah over the body and they see the tattoo back ya, I say that is my daughter because like ih the beg me ma, see me ya, da me, this da me, this da my daughter."
Mai says that she and her family are still in disbelief. She told us that she never expected to be seen as a grieving mother on the news because of her daughter…
"When I sit down and I always watch news on TV and I see deh mothers da Belize cry, and this one shot this one I say Christ sorry for them but I never know it would knock at my door, I can't even explain how I feel. Da lee girl da mi my all, I di tell you. She light up my house, she light up my life, she light all my kids da no only she, I no have no complain with my kids. They da my everything, da they I di live for and then whe time they just rip out piece of that from me right because we da like a circle and they just take of quarter of it and then the rest remain. How I will replace that back? I work for my pickni they, I do whatever they need, I tell everybody in this village I say please mess with the hen not the chicken, please and people know I going that extra mile for my pikni they. They no have no pa but I da deh ma and I got my visa and everything I could deh da states any moment but I tell they no way I going left my pinki because then if they no have no pa, they no have no ma well da what happen here now and I no the run from them. They da my pinki, da me bring they ya."
And while Ara's family grieves, the police continue their investigation. According to reports, authorities have detained two males and one female. They also have the car which was used to move the body to the dumpsite. So far, the suspicion is that the girl was killed at home - and the culprits cleaned up the blood when they were done.
So while the three suspects are yet to be charged, Ara's mother told us that she believes she already knows who here daughter's killers are…
"As what I say I no want the speculate but at the same time I don't want to have no doubt. All the clue that I turn around and around lead right back, everywhere I turn it back to he, so I know that da he, I know that da he. If he no do it, he know who do it, he has something to do with it and da no one of them inna it, da more than one they but make we see where the ball will spin."
She was referring to specific names of persons from Teakettle village. Credible information from the community is that the murder was motivated by jealousy arising from relationships between young women and criminal boyfriends.
We'll have more on the story as it develops into tomorrow