A man in his mid 70’s has gone missing and the family says they suspect foul play. 75 year old Francisco Reyes, a resident of Salvapan, Belmopan, is a farmer. He spends most of his days at his farm near the community of Springfield Village, Cayo. When he was not farming he would be at the Tuesday/ Friday market day selling his products, which mostly consisted of Sweet potato, cilantro, and other vegetables. He is well known and loved in the community but now he has gone missing. On Monday September 14th, he left his home in the community of Salvapan where he lives alone and set off en route to his farm. He told his family he would be back by Thursday or Friday. But 11 days have passed and his family still hasn’t heard from him. On Monday earlier this week, his three sons set off to find him but returned empty handed. Through tears, Ana Beta Reyes, the daughter of Francisco Reyes, told us what little they know about the disappearance of their father and why it is they suspect foul play.
Ana Beta Reyes, Daughter: They went to find him, when they arrived at his little farm they said they found his food bag. It’s a bag with bread. He had with him 1 pound of tortilla. It looks as if someone just came there and took him because the floor looks swept. He would have had to leave signs if there was a struggle and there wasn’t any signs. It looks as if though someone just reached, took him and swept the floor clean. Behind his little cottage however there are little trails as if though they took someone by force. Bushes are flatten as if someone tried to grab onto the grass. Further up the trail, like 15 minutes of walk, they said they found some footprints and an imprint of a knee as if someone fell to his knees. They walked another 15 minutes and found nothing but a big gorge, they didn’t continue looking.
Reporter: Do you think they hurt him?
Ana Beta Reyes, Daughter: I think someone took him, because he couldn’t leave on his own. Normally he would work 3 days. After 3 days he would return and sell his product. He would bring seeds, he would bring sweet potato to sell. He use to take some seeds to plant. Those seeds are still there in his bag of cilantro. That’s all he did, he didn’t do anything else, he just planted sweet potato, plantain, he find seeds, and would bring them to sell.
Ana Beta Reyes, Daughter: The reason I came here is that I went to the police, I spoke with him, a police officer and told him that I need someone to help me find him because too much time has passed. They told me that they didn’t have any vehicle and that if I could get a vehicle then they would be able to go with me. So then I told them that I would try to find a vehicle and that I would go back, but I haven’t gone back yet. What I want to say to the authorities is that someone poor doesn’t have anyone to turn to so I ask them to listen to me because I need their support. I ask them to hear me out and help me find my dad. I believe that only God could have kept him alive, but I want to find him in whatever state I may find him but I need them to support me. If at very least the K9 unit to help me track him, but I need them to help me.
We couldn’t get in touch with the authorities today due to a funeral for one of their colleagues but they promised to speak with us tomorrow. In the meantime, anyone with information on the whereabouts of Reyes or those who may wish to assist in the search for Reyes can contact the family at 637-6650 or 666-0246