The body of an American businessman, who was reported missing back in the beginning of the year, has been discovered by Ecuador authorities. The 65-year-old was found buried under a house in Guayaquil, a port city connecting to the Galapagos Islands.
According to U.S. News and World Report, police located Jonathan Charles Gilchrist with the help of a woman who was being questioned in regards to his disappearance. Upon arrival at the residence, the suspect informed officers that the businessman was buried approximately six feet under the concrete. Two individuals living at the property were then detained, but it is not yet known whether this unidentified woman is one of them.
CBS News gives detail to a statement given by Ecuador prosecutor Santiago Rivadeneira, who confirmed the discovery and the subsequent arrests, as well as provided a small amount of information on the deceased. Gilchrist, he says, had been living in Salinas, a beach resort town 80 miles west of where his body was found and 215 miles away from the nation’s capital of Quito. He was reportedly in the country for work purposes, and owned several properties in Ecuador.
Although they cannot confirm this at the current time, given that the investigation is still in its early stages, authorities are most certainly entertaining the possibility that the businessman’s high status had something to do with the motive of his killing. Gilchrist originally hailed from Texas.
Ecuador’s crime problem has been escalating over the years. Travellers are warned to be extremely vigilant in Quito and Guayaquil, the latter city in which Gilchrist’s body was found, as these two cities have the most armed robberies in the country. As for murder rates, the most recent statistics show that 12.4 people per 100,000 die each year. In 2012, there was an astonishing number of deaths, over 1900.
One of the main problems when it comes to illegal activity taking place in the country is lack of sufficient law enforcement staff. Because there are nowhere near enough policemen employed to apprehend these criminals and bring them to justice, far too many individuals get away with what they have done.
Tourists, particularly those hailing from the United States, are warned regularly through frequent government travel advisories by OSAC to take extreme care with their belongings, identification and money. It is suggested that women try not to venture out alone, especially at night and in certain parts of the country. Gunpoint robberies, muggings and rapes are quite common along hiking trails and beaches.
By Lorelai Zelmerlow