Suspect in doctor’s murder investigation released


SAN PEDRO, BELIZE (WFXR) — A man identified as a person of interest in the murder of Dr. Gary Swank has been released from custody.

23-year-old Christian Espat turned himself in on Friday for questioning in the presence of his attorney, according to Channel 5 Belize.

Channel 5 Belize say Espat turned himself in when a wanted posted with his picture began circulating on social media.

ACP Joseph Myvett, Head of the National Crimes Investigation Branch says there was not enough evidence to detain Espat at the end of his questioning.

Myvett also says another possible suspect was taken into custody on Saturday after police searched his home and impounded his car.

Dr. Gary Swank was killed, along with his tour guide, during a fly-fishing trip.

The police had over the past few days detained and interviewed several persons. We were looking for one specific person who we believe can assist us in the investigation. That person came into police custody Friday last where he was interview in the presence of his attorney. Certain information was taken from him. There was not sufficient evidence to detain otherwise so he was released. Subsequently on Saturday the home of one of those persons who the police was seeking was also searched. His vessel was impounded for processing and he is in police custody at this point in time in the ongoing investigation. I would not go into the details other to say that the investigation is progressing and certain evidence have been from some of those leads.”

ACP Joseph Myvett, Head, National Crimes Investigation Branch

A visitation for Dr. Gary Swank will be held Tuesday, July 2, from 6:00 p.m – 7:00 p.m. at St. John Lutheran Church on Brambleton Ave., in Roanoke. A memorial service celebrating his life will begin at 7:00 p.m.

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