Dr Gary Swank & tour guide murdered in Belize

Discussion in 'Crimes in the News' started by Jackielee09, Jun 25, 2019.

  1. Jackielee09

    Jackielee09 Well-Known Member

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  2. Jackielee09

    Jackielee09 Well-Known Member

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    Last edited: Jun 25, 2019
  3. dotr

    dotr Well-Known Member

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    Not again, a number of threads here concerning murder of expats/tourists in Belize!
    American doctor, tour guide found murdered in Belize
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    "Below is the full statement from Chris Turnbull, director of corporate communications with Carilion Clinic:

    "Today we learned the tragic news that Dr. Gary Swank, interventional cardiologist, medical director of Carilion Clinic’s Cardiac Catheterization Lab and an associate professor of internal medicine at the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine, was found murdered, along with his local tour guide, in Belize yesterday.

    We are heartbroken at his loss. Dr. Swank was a well-respected and well-loved colleague who, each and every day, embodied the values that we hold dear. His absence leaves a void in our team and in our community. Our thoughts, prayers and attention are now focused on helping his family navigate this difficult time.
    After further investigation, authorities believe Swank and Graniel were fly fishing at the San Pedro Town Lagoon when a skiff passed by and opened fire on their boat."

    Swank and Graniel's bodies were taken to the San Pedro Polyclinic, where the two were pronounced dead. Authorities are still investigating the incident.

    The U.S. Department of State has released a Level 2 Travel Advisory for Belize due to "violent crime," such as "sexual assault, home invasions, armed robberies, and murder."
     
  4. Jackielee09

    Jackielee09 Well-Known Member

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    When we were there the only alert was pick pockets. Wonderful trip and experience.
    Zero problems. I’m eagerly waiting for more info. Robbery gone extremely bad?
     
  5. Simply Southern

    Simply Southern Well-Known Member

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    The family statement is heartbreaking.

    Belize police give new details about tour guide who was with Roanoke doctor before he died

    The tour guide who took Roanoke physician, Dr. Gary Swank fishing on Sunday had trouble with a local gang and Dr. Swank was a "victim of circumstance." That's according to Belize police officials who held a press conference Tuesday.

    Swank and tour guide Mario Graneil were shot multiple times while fishing in San Pedro lagoon Sunday morning.

    "What we are gathering after the fact is that the deceased, Mr. Graniel, had a misunderstanding with a notorious gang figure in San Pedro," said Belize Police Commissioner Chester Williams.
     
  6. Simply Southern

    Simply Southern Well-Known Member

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  7. Simply Southern

    Simply Southern Well-Known Member

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    Roanoke doctor killed during fishing trip in Belize

    Swank’s family said Monday that they only know about what happened from local news stories.

    Swank and his wife and three children had arrived in Belize on Saturday, said his sister, Melanie Wilhelm.

    “I’m not surprised he was down in Belize and out fishing with a local guide,” his brother Martin Swank, 56, said. “His passion was fishing. He was all about the fishing, especially his fly-fishing.”

    Swank grew up in Greenbelt, Maryland, where his mother worked as a nurse and father served as a Washington, D.C., police officer.
     
  8. Jackielee09

    Jackielee09 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the updates. How very sad. Prayers for their families and friends.
     
  9. PastTense

    PastTense Well-Known Member

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    "The tour guide who took Roanoke physician, Dr. Gary Swank fishing on Sunday had trouble with a local gang and Dr. Swank was a "victim of circumstance." That's according to Belize police officials who held a press conference Tuesday.

    Swank and tour guide Mario Greniel were shot multiple times while fishing in San Pedro lagoon Sunday morning.

    "What we are gathering after the fact is that the deceased, Mr. Greniel, had a misunderstanding with a notorious gang figure in San Pedro," said Belize Police Commissioner Chester Williams."

    Belize police give new details about tour guide who was with Roanoke doctor before he died
     
  10. Simply Southern

    Simply Southern Well-Known Member

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    Jackielee09 and dotr like this.
  11. Simply Southern

    Simply Southern Well-Known Member

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    Belizean authorities reportedly release main suspect in Roanoke doctor's murder

    The suspect, Christian Espat, reportedly turned himself in on Thursday but was released Tuesday after police questioning.

    The San Pedro Sun reports that other people were also detained by police for questioning in regard to the double murder.

    Authorities tell the San Pedro Sun that they believe Graniel was the target of the shooting because officers were called to his home Saturday after an unknown gunman fired shots outside his apartment complex.

    According to Breaking Belize News, authorities believe that Swank was murdered because he was a witness to the murder of his tour guide.

    Swank, 53, was a cardiologist at Carilion Clinic and was on a fly fishing expedition. He had recently been promoted to associate professor at the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine.

    A service for Swank will be held Tuesday at 7 p.m. at St. John's Evangelical Lutheran Church on Brambleton Avenue.
     
  12. Cryptic

    Cryptic Well-Known Member

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    And such a proposed scenario also protects the tourism industry by eliminating the possibility of harm to other tourists that a robbery motive would give.

    Though a "boat by" targeted shooting is possible, the San Pedro lagoon is large and contains a good number of sub lagoons. Finding a targeted victim in the area could be difficult not only geography wise, but my bet is that fishing guides can be very secretive as to where they take clients to on the water and would also require the need to have a boat. Both a street gang given a farmed out "hit" assignment by a crime lord or a hired professional hitman would seem to be far more likely to commit the murder on land and at a location where they knew the victim would be.
    I think this possibility is far more likely.

    A criminal gang knowing that foreign fishing clients are at least relatively wealthy and then boating around looking for any local (especially a known guide) accompanied by a foreigner to rob would seem to be a far more likely scenario than looking for a specific target in the lagoon.
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2019

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