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This article was published 26/11/2014 (1811 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
The family of Winnipeg's James Searles is in shock after the 59-year-old was found dead in a river in Belize hours after arriving to be with his new bride.
"The family is mourning and grieving. This is a complete shock — the reality hasn't set in," his daughter and family spokeswoman Jennifer Stringer said Tuesday from her home in British Columbia.
"Until he's brought home (to Winnipeg), we don't want to speculate," she said, declining to speak further.
In an interview with Belize Channel 5 television, police Supt. Dinsdale Thompson said Searles flew into Belize on Saturday and was picked up by his wife, 45-year-old Canadian Nicole Warner, a local resident whom Searles had married in September.
They retired to Warner's home after going out for drinks, Thompson said. Thompson told the TV station Warner woke up on Sunday to find Searles gone, and went to the police station to report her husband missing.
His body was found 4 p.m. Sunday in a river about 200 metres from their home in the Central American country, Thompson said.
"We have not found any visible signs of injuries on the body. However, we have not ruled out anything so far," Thompson told the TV station.
Thompson said Searles was wearing only a jacket.
"The body was intact; we found him with what appears to be just a jacket that was thrown over him. An underwear or trouser, he did not have on," the police superintendent said.
Sources said police have concluded Searles died by asphyxiation from drowning.
Warner lived in the western interior of the country in the rural community of Bullet Tree Falls, a village of about 2,000 near the town of San Ignacio and major archeological sites, about 100 kilometres from Belize City.
Stringer would not discuss what police may have told the family, and did not know when the body would be brought back to Winnipeg. No one from the family has yet gone to Belize.
Sources said the couple met last year in Belize and Warner is believed to be a Belize resident who had moved there from Ontario.
Searles had recently retired as a provincial government mechanic and had a home in Victoria Beach.
Thompson could not be reached Tuesday.