Islanders demand justice for Faye Lin Cannon
Friday, July 7th, 2017
The tragic death of 13-year-old Faye Lin Cannon has brought together an island community in collective mourning. The young American girl had been living on the island for several years, and suffered a death that many deem preventable. Physically and sexually assaulted, her death was officially ruled as caused by internal hemorrhaging due to a punctured heart. She had three broken ribs. Believed to have committed these heinous crimes against Faye is her adoptive mother Anke Doehm, and stepfather David Boehm. Both are yet to be charged, but they remain in San Pedro Police custody.
The common sentiment around the island is that ‘we failed Faye Lin Cannon.”
Shortly after news of her death broke on Thursday, July 6th, many people claimed that they ‘knew something was wrong’. That somehow, they suspected that perhaps all was not well within her family. Faye and her three sisters were often seen outside of their mother’s store, Rubimoon, in all kinds of weather. Long-time residents claim that they made several reports to authorities, including the Human Development office on the island, but nothing ever came of it. Others claim that they went as far as the US Embassy asking for some kind of investigation, and once again, nothing was ever done.
The storefront where many witnessed Faye and her sisters standing quickly became a memorial spot. Flowers, candles, and silent prayers were offered the evening after her death was announced. With heavy hearts, island residents organized a quick protest for Friday, July 7th in hopes of bringing justice to Faye’s senseless death. Concerned community members gathered with posters in front of the San Pedro Police Station on Friday, July 7th, where the Doehms were being held in custody, pending charges. Several voiced their concerns on the tragic issue, saying that San Pedro needs to ‘wake up’. In addition, many residents refuted the Doehms claim in the police report, where they classified Cannon as ‘mentally challenged’. According to these residents, Cannon was bright, and reportedly a straight ‘A’ student at Isla Bonita Elementary School. However, for quite some time now, Cannon had not been enrolled in school.
“This has been a cry for three and a half years, these peoples [the Doehms] have been abusing these children. We reported these incidents, but nothing was ever done. The system has failed the community, nothing is ever done,” said concerned resident Shelley Huber during the short protest. “When they abuse a child, they abuse us as a community. We want no mercy for these people.”
But the peaceful demonstration was not without difficulties, as the San Pedro Police indicated that they did not obtain permission to hold a protest and therefore their actions were illegal. Residents still made their stance, and demanded justice from all relevant authorities, and after more than an hour protesting, organizers were successful in obtaining permission from police to hold a protest the following day.
While residents will continue to petition for justice, the Criminal Investigation Branch of the San Pedro Police Department also continues their investigation. While the day ended in no murder or conspiracy of murder charges being levied against them, Anke Doehm did attend a closed-court family matter case. The hearing resulted in San Pedro Town Magistrate Janel Villanueva granting the Department of Human Services full custody of Cannon’s three siblings. According to the Magistrate, the 48-hour investigation period for the Doehms won’t expire until Saturday, July 8th. Therefore, if there is sufficant evidence to charge the Doehms for the murder of Faye, San Pedro Police will have the right to keep them in custody over the weekend until they can reappear in court on Monday, July 10th.
The San Pedro Sun spoke with the San Pedro Town Mayor Daniel Guerrero, who is both shocked and saddened by the tragedy. “We feel like we failed,” he said. “I believe that the entire community feels like we failed…I wish we could know before things [like this] happen…” He is in full solidarity with the community, and will be pushing for justice as well. “Justice HAS to happen,” said the Mayor. He hopes that the community can continue to rally for Faye’s sisters and ensure that this never happens again.
Similarly, Area Representative and Minister of Tourism Manuel Heredia Jr. feels that sense of failure. “According to what I understand, there were reports made about what was happening, and I cannot judge immediately, but I will have my chat with Mr. Adan Kay [Human Development Officer in San Pedro Town]…if authorities would have taken a better approach, this could have been avoided.” Minister Heredia is saddened by this regrettable and preventable tragedy. “I can only extend my sincerest condolences, and hope that the weight of the law is extended as hard as possible…I will make sure and look into it and follow up to make sure that happens.”
“Justice” has been an on-going theme in San Pedro, and with this recent tragedy, the community of San Pedro will once again unite as one to host a peaceful protest on Saturday, July 8th. Everyone is encouraged to come out to the Central Park at 9AM. The San Pedro Sun will continue following the development of this story.
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