The death of 13-year-old Faye Lin Cannon sent shockwaves throughout the island community of San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize. After island residents discovered that her post mortem report showed that she had been the victim of sexual and physical abuse, residents blamed themselves for not doing more for her; even save her life.
Even though police have not charged Faye’s parents David and Anke Doehm for her death, investigations continue into the case that is being treated as a homicide; Cannon’s parents will remain in custody for 48 hours.
After Faye’s death, alarms started ringing in residents minds. Could they have done something to prevent her death? Is the community guilty of not helping? These questions arise as residents recall various instances where human services were made aware of possible child neglect/abuse on Faye and her sisters.
Our investigations indicate that concerns for the Doehm’s children were reported to the US Embassy and then to human services on the island as far back as three years ago.
“Human Services on the island told us that we were over-reacting,” stated one island resident to Ambergris Today.
Many residents reported the odd behavior of the sisters being left outside the Doehm’s business in the hot sun or even in pouring rain conditions. Others allegedly reported physical abuse, but it seems that the lack of resources in Belize’s Human Development Department and office in San Pedro was what prevented officials to take action against the couple.
Thirteen-year-old Faye Lin Cannon was found unresponsive, and was pronounced dead at the scene of the crime. A post-mortem later showed that she had been the victim of sexual and physical abuse. This was more-than-likely an ongoing situation.
Faye leaves behind three sisters, who have been placed in the care of Human Services. The Human Development Officer has been working in collaboration the San Pedro Police and the Embassy of the United States.
Currently the sisters are being held by the Human Development Department in which a Counselor from the U.S Embassy will be taking custody of the children for the duration of the investigation.
Hope Haven and Residents Call for Action
Residents set up vigil for Faye
“It is with a heavy heart that our board shares the news of the senseless death of a minor,” commented Hope Haven on a Facebook post.
“WE NEED OUR SHELTER NOW. We need a safe haven for children on the island. We need counseling services. We need children's therapy. And we will have it soon. But how can we help protect children if there is nowhere for them to go?”
Hope Haven indicates that there crew is working as fast as their funds allow them to, but building a shelter for the country comes at a cost.
“Your donations could help, and every single dollar that you donate will go towards the launch of Hope Haven, the island's first children's shelter. So now is the time to step up. If you've been thinking about donating money, materials, or time, please reach out to us.”
Please help by pledging on their Facebook Page or message to their our inbox, whether you're in Belize or not. Hope Haven will reach out to those with pledges and provide an easy way for your pledge to become a reality. If you're not in a position to provide monetary donations, please help by sharing this message.
Let's help prevent senseless deaths like this from happening in the future; assistance is needed NOW!