Day one of 2015 sees gruesome murder at Dream Valley Resort

Dream Valley is a cozy little resort nestled in the bushes of Teakettle village; but at the resort,  it was more of a nightmare on New Year’s , January 1st, when one of the senior staff members was shot and killed, execution style.

Yaima Duany Ledesma, manager of the resort since its opening in 2012, was the victim.

Officer in Charge of the Belmopan Formation, Howell Gillett, filled us in on the details.

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vlcsnap-2015-01-03-06h26m09s230vlcsnap-2015-01-03-05h54m34s238Superintendent Howell Gillett – Officer in Charge Belmopan Police Formation

“Just before four p.m. yesterday, the first of January, we received information that [Yaima Duany Ledesma] was shot at [Dream Valley] Resort, and was taken to the Belmopan Western Regional Hospital. 

Police immediately sprang into action, and we started to investigate.  What our investigation is showing thus far is Miss Duany, who is a dual Cuban / Swiss national, received gunshot wounds to the head and to the upper body. 

Our investigation also shows that five rounds were expended, two of which caught Miss Duany. She was pronounced dead at the Western Regional Hospital. 

We are looking for two persons.  I wouldn’t want  to go into the details, but we are narrowing on the investigation. There was a car involved, that the culprits got away in.  I think we are closer now to getting to solve  this murder, and very soon, I believe, we’ll be able to identify and give the media and the public the names of those individuals involved. 

We will continue to investigate.  There are many different motives.  I don’t want to get into them, ’cause they come, but then we will narrow down the investigation, until we have the proper motive and we have the right persons in our custody, to be charged for this heinous crime.”

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vlcsnap-2015-01-03-05h56m32s79vlcsnap-2015-01-03-07h07m56s219The scene was gruesome and by all indications, it appeared to be a hit. There was no robbery involved and the men just left the premises, leaving behind shaken up staff members and guests who refused to say anything to reporters when they arrived at the scene. Yaima Ledesma, a Cuban born and Swiss national,  was rushed to the Western Regional Hospital but was Dead on ArrivalA post mortem is scheduled for early next week.

Police say that there are reports that Yaima had received threats before.

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Superintendent Howell Gillett

“According to what we have received thus far is that she might have been threatened verbally by some relative or her estranged boyfriend, but unfortunately it wasn’t reported to us, the police, and so it’s sad to note that if it had been reported, we would have taken the appropriate action, and put in the appropriate security measures to ensure her safety.”   

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As we said, the guests at the resort were pretty shaken up and we wondered what effect this murder would have on tourism.

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Superintendent Howell Gillett  

“When there’s a murder, especially at a resort, the tourism industry is affected, but what I want to say to the public is that this murder wasn’t against the tourism industry per say.  It was against, I believe, one target, [because of] the way it was done. 

The persons went in as normal patrons, and asked specifically for her, and then when she came out to see what they wanted, she was executed.  So I believe the target was more against an individual than the tourism industry.

We had officers there overnight, and it is basically to allay the fear of the persons who are there, the tourists and other guests who are in-house.  We needed to let them know that we had it under control, so that there was no mass exodus of people.”

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The owner of Dream Valley is French National Shantel Gurb, who is also the owner of Royal Palm Resort

According to police, as they continue their investigations, the community has been helpful, and police believe that within the next few days they will be able to solve this murder case.

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Superintendent Howell Gillett

“The community is very, very helpful to us, and it is because of the help that we’re getting from the community, that I firmly believe that this murder will be solved very shortly.

I want to thank the public for their kind assistance in helping the Belmopan Police.  We know that we must have the community’s support, and I could safely tell you that we have the community on our side.

I don’t want to speak out of turn, but I could tell you there’s a lot we’re getting. Very soon  we will have the perpetrator or perpetrators of this murder.”
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