The search continues for a Canadian national who has been missing since Christmas Eve. 64 year old Brian Townsend is a popular missionary who has been residing in the Valley of Peace area since 2001. Townsend is known to have contributed significantly to the community, lending a hand to those in need and even spearheading the construction of the Seventh Day Adventist Academy College.
But as well-liked as he was, it seems that Townsend had some enemies – persons who we are told burglarized his home some months ago and threatened his life.
A bloody and ransacked scene at Townsend’s home, was stumbled upon by his cook, who he had asked to come in early on Christmas morning to prepare the day’s meal. Today, we spoke with Efemio Cruz, a member of the search and rescue team, which have volunteered their time to look for the missing resident. Cruz, who has since spoken with the cook, told us what she says she saw upon arriving at Townsend’s home.
“Yes, from there she left the kitchen and went to where Mr. Bryan stayed and upon making checks, she mentioned that three glass louvers were missing, she found on the ground, she knocked on the door and upon opening the door, she found no where inside the house and the house was ransacked everywhere. The house was turned up. Then she went outside, and that is where she saw on the grass, the signs of struggling. Apparently he struggled with his attackers and a number of large (about a bucket size) bloodstains were found on the ground. From there, she immediately contacted the police”.
Townsend’s son has since arrived in Belize to search for his father. We spoke with him this afternoon and told us that the family is holding on to hope that their loved one will be found alive. His neighbours, whom we also spoke with today, are baffled as to why anyone would want to hurt a man who has become sort of a benefactor for the community, someone who is known to be a kind-hearted and easy going guy. According to them, Townsend was considered as a benefactor in the village and was an easy going guy. He was the type of person, they say, who on multiple occasions, volunteered to take villagers to the hospital when they fell ill. He was also very, perhaps even too trusting of others. And while little is known about what may have happened to Brian Townsend, neighbors say that two curved machetes with blood stains, were found on the property. In addition, they believe that around 10 p.m., they saw the burglars heading out of his residence in his truck, which at this time, has also not been located.
Bredda Fem Cruz: “They are robbers. I call them destroyers. I was told by one of the neighbours that that night, sometime around 10 of the clock, they saw the pick-up leaving the area where Mr. Bryan lives with a number of items in the back, but they thought that Mr. Bryan was heading somewhere to give a Christmas gift or token to someone. That’s why they overlooked it, but when they got conscious that someone, if they would have known, they would have called the police. But people saw it when the vehicle was going with the number of items inside. So, at this time, the pick-up is still not recovered”.
As we mentioned, about two months ago, Townsend’s home was broken into. Those persons we are told, were charged with burglary. Though there are speculations, it is not certain if those individuals returned on the night of December 24th. Anyone having information on the whereabouts of Brian Townsend, or his grey Chevy Silverado pickup is asked to call the police.