PUNTA GORDA, Belize — Authorities in Belize say three people have been arrested and charged with murder for the death of a retired Blue Springs native.
Police spokeswoman Hortence Hernandez says in a statement Monday that 68-year-old Sherris Stringham’s body was found near a river in Pomona, about 50 miles away from her residence in the coastal village of Hopkins.
The suspects were identified as two 18-year-old men and a 16-year-old minor, all from Hopkins.
Stringham was a native of Blue Springs and retired to Belize, about a year ago, after decades of working as a bus driver and grocery store cashier in the metro.
She was reported missing Aug. 27, and her vehicle was found abandoned days later hundreds of miles away in the Orange Walk district in the northern part of the country.
Police believe a group of teens were trying to break into the 68-year-old’s rental home. When she confronted them, they reportedly hit her in the head with a blunt object, ransacked her home, stole her vehicle and dumped her body under a bridge.
Her body was discovered late Friday.
Her son and daughter are flying to the country this week to bring their mother’s body back to the metro. The family is planning a celebration of life for Stringham in the coming weeks.