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Brothers suspected in murder of Canadian missionary, killed

They said Raulito Balona, one of two brothers being sought for the murder, was shot and killed in the village of Arenal on Tuesday. The body of his brother, Marlon, was found on January 19 with wounds to the chest and head.

“We have so far contacted the Guatemalan authorities who confirmed that yes, Raulito Balona, one of the suspects in Mr. Townsend’s murder has been killed in Guatemala,” said a police spokesman, Dinsdale Thompson. 

Earlier this year, the body of Brian Townsend had been exhumed in Flores after local law enforcement authorities had been informed of its location by their Guatemalan counterparts.

Townsend’s body had earlier been found floating in a river in Guatemala two days after Christmas and due to the state of decomposition had been buried. Authorities are working on the theory that he was taken from his home in Belize and brought across the border where he was killed.

Thompson said that talks were still being held with the Guatemalan law enforcement authorities saying ‘all we have here from authorities so far is that Raulito has been shot”.

He said the police were investigating the possibility that the brothers may have been killed for other reasons, adding “it is very possible that they have been law-breakers in Belize as well as in Guatemala and that’s why they have ended up getting killed.

“But our eyes are open to both sides as I have indicated,” the police spokesman added.

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