Thursday, July 18, 2024

Still no arrests on murder of Mario Graniel and Dr. Gary Swank; new suspects released

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It has been almost a month since local tour guide Mario Graniel and American National Dr. Gary Swank were shot to death while on a fly fishing tour on the lagoon side of Ambergris Caye. Police investigation led to the custody of several suspects, but all were released. On Monday, July 15th, police informed the media that three new persons were in custody for further questioning. However, they have also been released, and authorities are now back to square one in arresting the criminal(s) responsible for the double slaying.
The police explained that the suspects were not the same persons they initially had in custody a couple of weeks ago. They further maintain that the intended target was Graniel and not Dr. Swank.
The double murder has caused major concerns in the travel community and has affected the tourism sector countrywide. Many establishments, such as hotels claim to have experienced cancellations following the incident. Tour Operators also reported cancellations in tours and restaurants hosting banquets were also affected.
A police report stated that Graniel and Dr. Swank were shot several times from a passing boat. A post-mortem conducted on both bodies certified their cause of death as Traumatic Asphyxiation. Authorities are hopeful that potential witnesses will come forward to assist in the ongoing investigation. They believe that someone must have witnessed the shooting, even though it happened at sea.

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