When we ended our newscast on Tuesday evening, local authorities were headed to the far west of the country, where a body was found floating in the Mopan River, close to the Melchor area of the watercourse. By that time though, the decomposed remains, which were found by Guatemalan officials on December 27th, were taken to Guatemala and buried there.
When news broke of the discovery, speculation begun to circle that it may be that of missing Canadian national and Seventh-Day Adventist Missionary, Brian Townsend, who disappeared from his home in Valley of Peace village, on Christmas Eve. Late this evening, it was confirmed that the remains are that of Townsend. On Christmas morning, Townsend’s cook, arrived at the home in Valley of Peace to prepare Christmas dinner, but what she found were– signs of a struggle and a blood trail outside of the residence.
Police suspect that whoever may have harmed Townsend, broke into his home that night, as glass louvers were removed from a window. For the past few days, local police and friends and neighbors have been engaged in an extensive search for the missing 64 year old. Townsend’s son, Kory Townsend, came to Belize from Canada to join in the effort. But tonight, the family’s worst fear has been confirmed.
“With grieving hearts we inform you that the body found in Guatemala is Brian Townsend. We want you to know how much it meant to us, the support and prayers we received from all of you. It is hard in the midst of grief to see God at all times, when we take a small step back we see how much we are blessed by God for the people that love and care for us.”
PlusNews contacted Officer Commanding the Benque Viejo Police Station, Inspector Dinsdale Thompson, who verified that report. Thompson says that the body, which is still in Guatemala, was ID’d by use of photographs. He affirms that the department continues to investigate the circumstances that led to Townsend’s death. And in even in grief, the family of Brian Townsend wants the public to remember the kind-hearted and selfless person their loved one was, they say,
“We have celebrated what Brian has been able to do in Belize and the difference he has made in the community of the Valley of Peace. I challenge each one of you to do the same, make a difference, be that close to home or far away. Know however, that you already have made a difference in your support of us.”