It has been 4 months and several days since Onelia Rash, 9, and Benjamin Rash, 11, both of the San Marcos Village in the Toledo District, have gone missing, and at press time tonight, they have not been found.
Not only have they not been found, but police have no idea where they may be, or who their abductor(s) are.
The children went missing on August 31, 2010 and an extensive search was conducted all around the country and particularly in the southern and western areas of Belize. The police even went as far as to seek help from international police to help with their search.
The last time that the children were seen, they had been selling fruits for their family. They were last spotted in the Cattle Landing Village on the same day that they went missing. Reportedly, they were attempting to catch a ride home.
The circumstances surrounding the missing Rash children have been strange. Villagers of the San Marcos Village, Toledo, burned down the American Crocodile Education Sanctuary (ACES), which was owned and managed by Vince and Cherie Chenot-Rose, an American couple living in Toledo for several years, because they were told by a “witchdoctor” that the couple had something to do with the children’s disappearance.
The couple was outraged that the villagers would suspect them of kidnapping, and would go so far as to destroy their home and business. They have stated categorically to the media that they had nothing to do with the children’s disappearance, and that their sympathies lie with the family, hoping that the children are returned safely.
The villagers allegedly burned the property due to a combination of frustration with the lack of progress of the police search and the information received from the PG “witchdoctor.”
The police told Amandala a couple months back that they would keep the case open until the children have been found.