Alabama retiree murdered in Belize

PRATTVILLE, Ala. (WSFA) – Rodney Rushing, 66, was a free spirit. That is why he took and chance after retirement and moved 2,270 miles from Salem, Alabama, to Corozal, Belize.

Family members say it was his dream come true. He lived there with his two dogs, Petey and Poppy, for around seven weeks before being brutally murdered on Aug. 17.

Media reports show the Alabamian was shot nine times outside his new home.

His sister and Prattville resident, Carla McLean, is devastated. She learned of her brother’s murder early Thursday.

“(He was) wanting a better live and then went to a place that was the end of his life,” McLean said.

She does not believe the attack was random, saying it could have been someone her brother met. He may have been targeted because he was American. His wallet was stolen that night.

“I think it may have been somebody he confided in,” she said. “I don’t think Rod went around waving money, because he wasn’t like that.”

Right now, the family is working with the U.S. embassy and local police to try and find answers.

They are afraid this case will be forgotten. Family members worry people in Corozal are afraid to speak up.

“People get hurt. They get shut up. They get paid off and sometimes taken out. I’ve been hearing that,” McLean said.

It only makes it more difficult to secure justice for Rushing.

As McLean mourns the loss of her youngest brother, she is asking the community for prayers.

The family also needs some financial support as they begin the grueling task of getting their brother’s body back into this country, and figuring out what to do with his car, dogs and other possessions. A GoFundMe has been created.

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