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Belize visit leads to body find

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Kory Townsend went to Belize after his elderly missionary father was reported missing in the country by the older man's Valley of Peace apartment cook. Now authorities report that a body found in Guatelmala might be that of 64-year-old Brian Townsend, according to the Jan. 2 report from the Edmonton Journal.

Evidence of a struggle inside and outside the property in Belize indicated possible foul play in the disappearance of the missionary who moved to the South American country nine years ago. And one news agency in the country reported that police believe the theft of several items from the man's home were stolen on Christmas Eve.

An unidentified body was found floating in the Mopan River in Guatemala on Dec. 28, the same date the missionary's 32-year-old son Kory traveled from Canada to Belize in order to try and find him. The Belize and Guatemalan government officials have been trying to work together since it was realized that the Belize resident was missing and that the unknown dead body found in Guatemala might have been him. Unfortunately, the body had been buried by the time officials realized he might be Brian Townsend.

Church officials who were involved with the missionary work of Townsend are concerned that the man's family get the answers they need about their missing loved one, including how and why he died, if the dead body found is him. And that can be hard to do when a death investigation involves two countries.

Compounding the problem is the fact that Townsend was a Canadian who moved to Belize and may now have died in Guatemala. And that presents complications for his son, who will have to try and work with two different governments in addition to his own in order to get his father's remains back home for burial. If that is even possible at this point.

As this terrible event is occurring in the beautiful tropical paradise, survivalists are reportedly eager to go to live in the country, seeing advantage after advantage when it comes to abundant natural resources and considering Belize a perfect place to live in the event of a doomsday disaster.

Even Shape Magazine is touting the benefit of vacationing there, offering a Belize Vacation Sweepstakes for two at Francis Ford Coppola's Turtle Inn. And the Mens Journal reported on Thursday that they recommend a trip there due to the country having the wildest adventure camps they can find.

But it isn't likely that anyone in the Townsend family will be very eager to return regardless of the adventure, beauty or climate in Belize if Brian Townsend did die due to foul play in the tropical paradise. And who could blame them? Hopefully they will get the closure they need about what happened to their loved one, if the dead man is the missing missionary man. And hopefully it will not sour them about continuing to minister to others, just as he did.

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