Gregorio Bowen was being held at the Queens Street Police Station in Belize City, whilst a investigation was being done based on a charge of wounding.
Depending on the severity of the harm he was accused to have done, he would have been released after the standard 48-72 hours that all detained persons have to wait after a charge is levied against them.
But Mr. Bowen was held in a separate cell, alone, and shortly after 2 am Monday morning January 4th. the lifeless body of the 41 year old was discovered by a police officer doing the standard walk through of the holding cells at the station.
He was found naked; hanging from the gate of the holding-cell. He reportedly used his pants as a noose and hung himself inside the holding-cell. His lifeless body was taken to the Hospital ( KHMH ), where he was pronounced dead on arrival.
At a press-briefing later Monday Afternoon the Commissioner of Police indicated that Mr. Bowen was not drunk, nor was he thought to be a risk to himself or others, and that there are no indications of mental illness.
During a press briefing the COMPOL said –
“We do have our cell block policies that speak to the fact that officers must make hourly checks on the prisoners. In situations where the prisoner is under the influence or demonstrates the potential for harming him or herself then checks must be made every half an hour. In this case Mr. Bowen was not drunk and was not one who displayed signs of wanting to injure himself and others and so the checks were made hourly. We have checked the diary at the station and it shows that the officers did make the hourly checks at the cell blocks. It would appear that it was after the 2 am check was made that he eventually did what he did.”
A full investigation which will include the heads of division at that station and the professional standards branch is underway to determine why Mr. Bowen committed suicide.