The family of Julia Howard in the United Kingdom has spoken with the press syndicated via the BBC, and reported in press and online editions of the Scottish Sun and the Scotsman, regarding the reports in Cancun, Mexico that the remains of Julia Howard have been located amidst dense tropical mangrove forest foliage approximately three miles from where the Scottish grandmother was last seen while staying at the Moon Palace Resort and Hotel in Cancun. Julia Howard went missing on June 16, 2009 from the resort after telling family members she was going for a walk at the resort which she had visited multiple times in the past. The BBC also reports that Julia Brock, Ms. Howard’s daughter, told reporters that her mother adored the resort she was staying at.
In reported statements to the BBC, Ms. Howard’s distraught daughter, Julia Brock was quoted as stating “I’m dazed and it’s a total nightmare. We’re going out to (Cancun, Monday, to) formally identify the body”
“They said they think it is her but we are getting a huge amount of conflicting news. Although my brother thought it would be bad news, I was always kind of hoping she was still alive.”
”The rest of the family say at least we can bring her home now.”
”She never went out of the complex, she rarely even went further than five minutes from the pool.”
”To say she walked three miles and in the wrong direction is just ludicrous, she just wouldn’t, but we can’t prove it, but we know she was not capable of that.”
”We’ve got to try and find out what happened to her.”
”Everyone liked my mum, she was always cheery and smiling, nobody can believe it and we haven’t told the children yet, we just don’t know how to.”
In other news on the story, Quintana Roo newspaper Diario Respuesta reports that among the personal items found at the scene along with the remains were a pair of white flip flops, a gold ring, a silver watch, a Moon Palace Hotel room key and a prosthesis of Ms. Howard. Local officials in Cancun reportedly told reporters that should Ms. Howard’s family request a positive identification, they may request such via DNA testing through the State and Federal Attorney General’s offices respectively.
Diario Respuesta also reports that an investigative team sent to recover Ms. Howard’s remains and review the location became lost in the jungle terrain themselves when attempting their return from the remains site, and required rescue by elements of the Red Cross, Cancun Fire and Rescue Teams, and Security personnel from the Moon Palace Resort. One member of the original investigative team presumably suffered heat stroke and was removed from the scene via stretcher by rescuers.
Currently, in the view from afar, after following this story for two months, it appears the initial findings being reported support the Occam’s Razor approach of the Quintana Roo Attorney General’s office though many questions appear unanswered regarding the original disappearance and how Ms. Howard’s remains ended up almost three miles away in an isolated jungle location, south of the Moon Palace Resort. The Moon Palace itself located well off the widely popular Cancun Hotel Zone known as Isla Cancun, in a large compound like setting along the coast, on the mainland, on the road to Playa Del Carmen.
Which is exactly what Focus Radio in Quintana Roo says that some members, privately, of the investigative team are wondering as well, how Ms. Howard’s remains ended up in such a distant, remote, swamp like setting, though the head of the State Judicial Police stated as per Focus Radio that police investigators will wait on the final forensic results, rather than speculate on the cause of death currently. Focus Radio reports that it seems quite incredible that a single, elderly woman with a hip prosthesis managed to walk several miles in the muddy, swamp like terrain when investigators had such difficulty in doing so. http://www.enfoqueradio.com.mx/?p=29664
Editor’s Note/ Warning:
Below is the link to the Diario Respuesta story but we highly caution readers that the photograph collage provided by the newspaper of the scene, not uncommon for the Mexican Press in general, may be quite disturbing to many readers and certainly family members of Ms. Howard.