Sunday, April 14, 2024

Anke Doehm starts Cruelty to a Child trial in Belize City


The trial for the criminal case against Anke Doehm for the death of her adopted daughter Faye Lin Cannon started on Wednesday, February 21st, at the High Court in Belize City. Doehm faces a charge of Cruelty to a Child after Cannon was found dead in her bedroom on July 3, 2017, in their apartment north of San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye.
The first day of the trial saw several witnesses testifying in court. Some of these included two members of the Belize Police Department. One of the officers working in forensics was based in San Pedro, while the other involved in investigating the case continued working on the island. No details have been forthcoming from the court hearings. The only report from the High Court is that the trial resumed on Thursday, February 22nd, and there is no definitive date for when it may conclude.
The case started in July 2017, when Anke and her deceased husband, David Doehm, lived at a condominium complex north of San Pedro with Faye Lin Cannon, 13 years old, and her three younger sisters. When Cannon was found dead, the Doehms quickly became the prime suspects despite their allegations that the child died from natural causes. A post-mortem revealed that the deceased had been physically and sexually abused and that her death was due to internal haemorrhaging from compression to the chest.
The couple was detained on July 12, 2017, after a thorough investigation by police. The Doehms maintained that their daughter was mentally compromised and would often hit herself against the wall. But many residents on the island, including teachers who knew Cannon, disputed those arguments. They stated that Cannon was a brilliant student and a healthy young girl.
After the Doehms were charged with being responsible for her death, the couple spent a few days at the Belize Central Prison but managed to get out on $10,000 bail each. For their safety and for them to continue their court case, they relocated to Belize City.
The other children were placed under the care of the Belize Human Services Department. Their legally adopted father, David Cannon, was granted full custody of his daughters on December 20, 2017, and they have relocated to the United States of America.
A couple of months later, the case against the Doehms was heating up, with more forensic evidence provided to the prosecution regarding the sexual abuse. As this evidence was to be revealed, David Dohem was found dead on October 5, 2017, inside a hotel room in Belize City. Police ruled his death as a suicide, and the evidence remains sequestered.
Anke was left alone to face the charge and, over the past few years, had been living in Belize City waiting for the trial.

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